Granada Introducing: Manchester band 'The Slow Readers Club' flying high again

Video by ITV News correspondent Elaine Willcox

'Knowledge, Freedom, Power' are big themes and lyrically a new direction for the sixth album for Manchester band, 'The Slow Readers Club'.

Frontman, Aaron Starkie concedes: "there are a few more shafts of light on this record than previous ones, but we are quite a dystopian band".

Which fits the backdrop to our chat perfectly after they held a listening party at the National Trust’s stunning Castlefield Viaduct Sky Park.

Aaron Starkie performing 'Everything I own" Credit: The Slow Readers Club

The album, out on 24 February, is already creating quite a buzz.

Andy Burnham, Greater Manchester's Mayor is a huge fan, and joined Chris Hawkins from Radio 6 Music who hosted the party, to discuss the stories, themes and inspiration behind the record.

James Ryan on bass says: "What they've done here is brilliant, this wasteland side suits us, and if you like that, you'll love our music".

Aaron adds: "It is a bit out of my comfort zone lyrically, it's quite optimistic.

"There are electronics, synths and memorable melodies. The response we have had to all our tracks like 'Modernise' have been really positive, so we are really excited."

Much is riding on the latest record as the band look to build on the Top 10 success of their previous studio album ‘The Joy of the Return’, which came out just as lockdown came in.

The Slow Readers Club; Aaron, brother Kurtis on guitar, James on bass and David Whitworth on drums had given up their day jobs for a massive UK and European Tour, but that all came to a halt with the Covid pandemic.

James says, "Like a lot of bands, we had to go back to day jobs, back to work to pay the bills.

"But we are working harder than we have ever worked, literally on the band, jobs and family, having this album out, we can start doing the band full time again."

Five years on from first introducing, 'the readers", it has been a challenging road, but the band are excited for the future.

"Once you are on stage and you see an audience's response and support spots with bands like the Pixies and stuff, those are magical moments", says Aaron with a smile.

As we chatted looking across Manchester's skyline, flying high it seemed a pretty good metaphor for what is next to come.

Aaron and James agree, "Yeah, we like it, we'll have that, right in the middle of our city".

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