The Slow Readers Club is a band from Manchester, England, originally formed as Omerta in 2003. The members are Aaron Starkie on vocals, Kurtis Starkie on guitar, James Ryan on bass, and David Whitworth on drums.
Omerta is formed when Aaron Starkie joins Neil Turvin (drums), James Ryan (bass) and Nick Moylan (lead guitar), who had met at St Matthew’s School in New Moston.
JR: When we were looking for a singer, we put an advert in the paper for “The Next Freddie Mercury” We were just taking the mick, but he replied. So we thought, right we’d better get him in to see what he’s like. And it was good.
Omerta disbands. Aaron Starkie, Neil Turvin and James Ryan form The Slow Readers Club. Kurtis Starkie, Aaron’s brother joins the band. Aaron:
To cut a long story short, Omerta broke up, Neil (drummer) and Nick (guitarist) left. Me and Jim (bass) carried on, brought my brother Kurt in on guitar and worked with a few different drummers for a few months before Neil came back and The Slow Readers Club was born.
On the name:
It’s kind of our take on The Smiths – it feels outsider-ish. It’s a little bit rebellious I think. I have a very clear memory of going round secondary school, when I was leaving junior school to be orientated, and we went round all different rooms like science labs and I thought it was crazy. We came to one room which was called ‘special needs’ which is such a non-PC term these days. I thought it was curious that you could be put in a stream from that early on and SRC is our version of that. It’s a rejection of that notion.
The band releases their debut album, The Slow Readers Club. The album, produced by Kipper, includes many songs from the Omerta period. Aaron Starkie:
Recording the album was pretty intense, long days from about 10am to 10pm, could fry your brain sometimes but it was worth it. We had done a lot of work in preparation before we went in, we had already demoed all the tracks and had most of the synth parts and strings and stuff pre recorded. Working with Kipper was brilliant he taught us a lot about building the sound and creating texture. Kurt recorded about ten guitar tracks on some songs, we wouldn’t always use them all but it gave us lots to work with.
The band release the official video for Forever In Your Debt, from their album Cavalcade. Aaron Starkie:
The song started with Jim’s bass. It has quite a good groove. It’s been one of our most successful singles. It’s had a lot of success overseas, particularly in Italy…It’s about finding hope through being in love with someone despite facing life’s difficulties.
The band releases their second album, Cavalcade. The album is produced by Phil Bulleyment.
Its dynamically a bit more sophisticated, the individual instruments have a bit more room to breathe. This is partly due to us getting better as musicians but our producer Phil Bulleyment played a major role in shaping the sound of this record. Fundamentally though it’s popular because the songs mean something to people, it’s been fantastic to hear people singing along at gigs and it’s amazing to share that connection with people.
James announces that The Slow Readers Club will be support act on the upcoming Girl At The End Of The World tour.
Delighted to announce our support for eleven of the May dates on the Girl At The End Of The World Tour will be an up and coming Manchester band Jim and Saul have been championing of late, The Slow Readers Club. They’ll be joining us in Bristol, Southend-on-Sea, London x3, Norwich, Bournemouth, Llandudno, Hull, Newcastle, and Nottingham. You can listen to a particular fave of Jim’s here – I Saw A Ghost performed live in Manchester Library.
The band play at the Ritz, Manchester, to a sold-out crowd of 1500. This is the first performance of Through The Shadows. As the band takes a bow, James gives a message to the fans:
We all go to work just like you. We all have day jobs just like you. We don’t have anyone who’s giving us loads of money. So the fact that you are all coming out to spend money on us. Everything you spend comes straight back into this band. Thank you very much. Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
The Slow Readers Club at The O2 Ritz, Manchester 18.11.16
The band releasesLunatic, the first single from their upcoming third album. The track was produced by Bullyment. Aaron Starkie:
It’s about feeling at odds with the world, especially politically in recent times, to the point where you feel as though you are losing your mind. There’s also reference to how psychiatry has been used to remove political dissidents from society: ‘Hard to find a fit, for I know that I’m a lunatic, Sure in days of old, I’d be chained to the floor’.
The band announces their third album, Build A Tower, will be released on May 4. They also announce a tour to promote the album, with dates in Cardiff, Southampton, Leeds, Manchester, Liverpool, Glasgow, Newcastle, Hull, Nottingham, Wolverhampton, Norwich, Northwich, London and Stoke.
The band release You Opened Up My Heart, from the album, Build A Tower.
A lot of our songs are existential and angst-ridden but, in an age where we’re faced with stuff like Trump and Brexit, and people are becoming more polarised, it felt right to offer something with a more positive message. It’s an electro-indie love-song, basically, with great hooks. The lyrics ‘Believe enough to lose control/Where there’s love there’s always hope’ are about a basic belief that humanity and compassion will win the day.
The Slow Readers Club - You Opened Up My Heart (Official Audio)
The band announce two tour dates in China, one in Beijing and at The Strawberry Festival in Hangzhou.
Aaron: The label we are signed to, Modern Sky, is Chinese. It’s odd one: we’re going on the Wednesday and coming back on Saturday night, and back to work on Monday. We thought Isle of Wight on one day was bad. It’s Beijing and Hangzhou. It should be great. I thought we’d be doing Berlin before Beijing. The ambition is to get out to Europe an the states. Europe seems a logical stop. I’m a stats nerd so we can see on Spotify we’re being listened out there.
The band release the official video for You Opened Up My Heart, directed by Croft.
Aaron: The concept was a collaboration. We gave [Chris] some ideas of what we wanted visually: very graphic and high energy. He sent us a few examples of 3D projections. The cube felt a little bit ambitious for the budget. And we were like, ‘that sounds risky’, and we tipped up in the morning and it was a bit of a seat-of-the-pants thing…It’s a cube that has a projection that runs right the way round. To see it in person was incredible. It’s one of our best so far.
The Slow Readers Club - You Opened Up My Heart (Official Video)
The band release their third studio album, Build a Tower. The album is released on Modern Sky Records and was recorded and produced by Phil Bullyment at Edwin Street Recording Studios in Bury. The album is released in multiple formats including limited-edition red and yellow vinyl, and cassette tape.
We’re really proud of the record as we’ve learned a lot since our last, self-released, album. Build A Tower feels like a big step up. Even though fans have heard a couple of the tracks played on the last tour, there’s a lot we’ve been holding back until they had the album in their hands, so we’re also looking forward to getting out and playing live. We’re excited to see what people make of our new music.
The limited edition Live At Festival No.6 album is released, as part of certain initial pre-order bundles from the band’s webstore. The album, recorded in Summer 2017 at Festival No. 6 at Portmeirion Town Hall, comprises a six-song set of stripped down songs accompanied by strings arranged and conducted by Festival No.6 composer-in-residence Joe Duddell.
OUR ALBUM IS NUMBER 18 ? Build A Tower is in the top 20 of the official album chart, properly mind blowing. We want to say a massive thank you to all our fans for getting behind us…Thanks for spreading the word, here’s to the next stage of the adventure ??
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