Rhian Daly reports on Slow Club – The Boathouse, Cambridge 26 January 2008

The Slow Club
In recent times, duos on the alternative music landscape have been a rarity, with only rock giants The White Stripes instantly springing to mind. On record, Slow Club are a glorious experience – harmonious and cheerful – so it is with intrigue and curiosity we skip down to the Boathouse to see just how they'll fare live.

Before we can find out, we are entertained by Richard Groom's folk ponderings and the blues rock of Delphi. The former takes the audience on a trip across the globe, taking in the glamourous (New York, London) and the not so glamourous (Peterborough and er, Ramsey). Whilst his guitar work is fine, his lyrics, although pleasant enough, do tend to wander into the mundane more times than desired. Quite a similar experience is local group, Delphi, whose blues rock provokes the unshakeable notion of this being what Nickelback would sound like, had they grown up in Cambridge. Singer Ian Jeffs gravely voice is perhaps something of an acquired taste, but as the group gradually expands from a three piece to a quintet throughout the set, it becomes easier to gloss over and concentrate on the more interesting parts of the songs. Like the melodica. Finally, the diminished drum kit is set up and the acoustic guitar plugged in as the Sheffield double act, Slow Club, take the stage. Starting with a deliciously sweet song whose main concern is marrying a friend to escape a lonely life, it seems as if this will be a quiet night out. Then, Me and You begins with Rebecca making imaginative use of a chair as percussion and everything changes. Cheers go up as the song is introduced, before huge grins are plastered on faces and spines tingle at the huge, heart soaring sound emanating from the stage. Continuing on with new song Trophy Room and Sunday, a song that makes the worst luck sound so delightful and desirable, Slow Club maintain the positive start and gently carve themselves a place in everyone's hearts. Charles leaves the stage later for Rebecca to perform a song alone, declaring beforehand she can't play guitar very well but the fact that she is not a grade 8 virtuoso is more endearing than off-putting. Her partner in song returns after his short break to play the misleadingly titled Sex Groove. Former single Because We're Dead follows before the band refuse to carry on until the chairs have been pushed aside and everyone is up and dancing to their last song, Slow Club Summer Shakedown. Smiles are still firmly intact as the duo leaves the stage, proving that if you're looking for a group to make you see the sunshine through the rain then look no further than Slow Club.