For a band that christened themselves after the venue from a classic Lynch neo-noir, The Haunt feels like a fitting place to kick-start a UK-wide tour in support of a new LP. The bedimmed converted cinema, which lies just shy of Brighton’s neon-lit pier, has a perpetually dusky atmosphere and tonight Moshi Moshi duo Slow Club fill it with a glorious genre-hopping soundtrack that’s occasionally as brooding as the backdrop.
The downtempo country-folk of their Matthew E White-produced fourth album dominates the setlist as expected, with ‘One Day All Of This Won’t Matter Anymore’‘s sleepier vocal-centric moments reducing the room to hushed silence. The sense of quiet awe is most palpable during slot centrepiece ‘Champion’, which dazzles thanks to its timeless melodies and Rebecca Taylor’s rousing delivery that recalls head Pretender Chrissie Hynde. Later, ‘Let The Blade Do The Work’ proves equally affecting, except this time Charles Watson’s half-whispered croon plays the starring role over wistful melancholia – the sort that bears the stamp of White‘s Spacebomb Studios house band with whom they recorded. The shadow of those in-house musicians also looms large over the low-key Americana of ‘In Waves’, which sees Taylor’s unstoppable voice soar and swoop over the track’s imitable whisky bar shuffle.
The Sheffield duo conclude with the unabashed soul of ‘Suffering You, Suffering Me’, which is a dizzying blast in comparison to their latest full-length’s delicate hypnotism. Wildly different, but just as gripping, it serves as a stark reminder of how the twosome’s relentless evolution continues; Slow Club‘s ability to shapeshift so seamlessly is quite remarkable indeed.