Slow Club Launch New Tour at The Bowery Ballroom

September 18th, 2014

Slow Club – The Bowery Ballroom – September 17, 2014

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Charlie Watson and Rebecca Taylor have been playing together as Slow Club since 2006. Blending two-part harmonies against a multitude of instruments, they’ve toured their native homeland, England, this summer in support of their recent release, Complete Surrender. The third full-length album has been described by the Guardian as “a soaring account of bruised hearts and tear-soaked pillows” and lauded by Paste as “making the kind of songs that aren’t just meant to score feelings, but actually make the listener feel.” They arrived Wednesday evening to kick off their North American tour at The Bowery Ballroom.

Starting with the appropriately titled “Beginners,” off their previous album, Paradise, Taylor crooned against Watson’s backing aahs and oohs. The pair quickly settled into material from their latest album, starting with the title track. As the drum solo kicked in, the disco ball quickly turned on for the infectious dance tune, before halting for “Tears of Joy.” Taylor stood alone against a single spotlight as she belted out “Not Mine to Love.” And upon returning, Watson confessed he’d dreamed of playing The Bowery Ballroom, but not in the baggy dad pants he was wearing. (Heck, comfort first, right?)

Fans were treated to some back-catalog treasures, like the Beatles-inspired “Never Look Back,” the rapid-paced “Our Most Brilliant Friends” and the rollicking “If We’re Still Alive.” Taylor’s and Watson’s vocals were on full display as the set neared its close. For “Number One,” Watson delivered deep, plaintive lyrics supported by Taylor’s gutsy backing vocals. Those pipes were further highlighted on the soul-drenched closer, “Suffering You, Suffering Me.” Hinting earlier in the night that there’d be an encore, the two returned to the stage with “Dependable People and Things That I’m Sure Of” and “Two Cousins.” And then several people had already exited as Watson and Taylor came back again to treat the crowd to an unplugged, acoustic version of “Hackney Marsh.” —Sharlene Chiu