Aaron Starckie from Manchester’s latest musical sensation, The Slow Readers Club, chats to Mancuninan Matters about the band’s inspiration, upcoming UK tour and hanging out in the Northern Quarter.
The indie-electro four-piece are frontman Starckie, guitarist and vocalist Kurtis Starkie, drummer Neil Turvin and bassist James Ryan and have taken their native music scene by storm with their catchy self-titled debut album.
They have built a loyal local fan-base from their appearances at The Deaf Institute, Night and Day and Friends of Mine festival.
DJ’s at Manchester indie clubs 42nd Street and 5th Avenue have also shown their support by playing their tracks.
Their session on Manchester radio station XFM earned them a place in their top five sessions of the year. Their critically acclaimed debut single Sirens was played and praised on BBC Introducing, NME, Q Radio and NME TV.
And Coldplay certainly believe in them. Their website recently featured The Slow Readers Club’s video for their single ‘Block out the Sun’.
The foursome have created a beautiful and varied collection of tracks ranging from eclectic and electric upbeat grooves to lamenting digital ballads.
With their recent crowning as Artists of the Week on BBC Radio Manchester, 35,000 hits on their YouTube channel and comparisons with the likes of The Killers and Arcade Fire, they are tipped to be the next big thing in the music industry...
How did you all meet?
Jim and Turvin were school mates and Kurt and I are brothers. I was originally in a band called Omerta with Jim and Turvin. When that ended me and Jim carried on and started working with my brother, we worked with a few different drummers before Turvin came back and The Slow Readers Club was born.
How do you feel about your recent and rapid success?
It doesn’t feel that rapid to us, as we've been at it a few years. That said I suppose this year has been pretty good with the press and fan response to the album.
We have had some good TV and Radio exposure too (Sky Sports, NME TV/Radio, 6Music, Q Radio).
We've worked hard with online stuff too and that is probably been the most successful channel for us gaining new fans, especially on Twitter more recently.
You have been compared to the likes of The Killers, Arcade Fire, Interpol and The Editors – and had support from Coldplay, but who would you say has inspired you most?
There is definitely a dark 80s influence; Echo and the Bunnymen, Jesus and Mary Chain, The Smiths.
With the synth electro work initially we probably drew from Ian Brown’s solo stuff but I also listen to a lot of LCD Sound System, Radiohead, Hot Chip, stuff like that. Lyrics wise I would say Herman Hesse, Orwell, Douglas Coupland, Morrissey, Ian Curtis.
Do you have a favourite track to play from your debut album?
Feet on Fire is probably the track people are most familiar with and that tends to get the best response so that gets us buzzing.
Really though we like to play new stuff best, we have a new track called Forever in Your Debt that has gone down great live, nothing beats that.
We still get nervous when we are playing a new track, there is a real adrenalin rush when we perform it as you just don’t know how it’s going to go down.
Can you tell us any more about your former allegiance with Omerta?
We had a decent amount of success with Omerta, we got a great demo review which lead to a lot of label interest but it was maybe too early for us.
We went on to do three indie singles, two XFM live sessions and we were on Steve Lamacq’s show on Radio 1 so had a good amount of exposure.
But after the third single, I think we thought we had taken it as far as it could go and Turvin and Moylan (guitarist) decided to call it a day. Turvin later came back and we started The Slow Readers Club which is essentially Omerta 2.0!
What are you most looking forward to about playing in Manchester?
It’s always good to play to a home crowd, we have never played The Lowry before though, could be a mad one.
Where are your local hang-outs in Manchester? Where do you go for a good pint and a good dance?
Boringly – the Northern Quarter. We used to go in the The Ralph Abercrombie, 42nd Street, 5th Ave and the Venue a lot and South when we fancied a change.
Manchester's well known for having lots of cool bars and clubs though which is handy!
What would you liked to have accomplished in the next five years?
Definitely a European and US tour and to make more records.
Anything else you’d like to add?
Thanks to everybody that has supported us so far and for anyone new, make sure you get down to a show!
The Slow Readers Club’s mission is to restore faith in musical storytelling. Their twelve tracks remind us that despite the dark times and modern anxieties of us all, there is still hope for the beaten.
Their songs tell tales of love and loss, opportunity and futility.
They handsomely and honestly share their memories through the gentle harmonics of an electric guitar and the synthesised hums, chords and cries for something more.
The Slow Readers Club are the universal voice of the downtrodden, the dejected, the overworked. But they are here to remind us that there is hope.
For more details about tours, tickets and tracks visit their official website here.