Friday, 18 January 2013

Slow Show and Ellis Davies & Ríoghnach Connolly (Honeyfeet) @ Roadhouse, 13.12.12

“Have you heard that woman’s voice? It’s fuckin’ brilliant.”

That comment was made by the manager of the Roadhouse about Ríoghnach Connolly, who is also the vocalist with Honeyfeet. Well, if it’s good enough for her, then it’s good enough for me. Tonight Connolly and Ellis Davies are here at the request of The Slow Show to open this evening’s performance.

Having just toured with Elbow, this show is intended as a low key homecoming event for the headliners, The Slow Show. Nearly 200 people have filled the venue and as soon as Robert Goodwin leads the troupe out, they’re greeted with cheers of approval.

The six members can just about squeeze onto the Roadhouse stage and they quickly set off into opening number ‘God Only Knows’, whose title is the only similarity with the Beach Boys hit. This number has the delicious tones of the cornet relayed by Jenna Smith. If you were to hear the vocals only, you might wonder if Richard Hawley is making a surprise appearance, but the deep tones belong to Robert Goodwin and add a languorous feel to proceedings.

Slow in name, measured and lush in delivery, the band create an intriguing weave of brass band sounds allied to a multi layered, Americana tinged, pop sound. Like a hot bath on a cold night, it’s something to luxuriate in. There’s no moshing or throwing of beer pots by the crowd; instead there is a line of bobbing heads and feet tapping in quiet contentment.

Their style is typified on one song that they do cover, ‘Born to Run’ by Springsteen which is stripped of its testosterone fuelled delivery, allowing its dreams of escape to echo as loudly as Clarence Clemons’ sax playing did.

Words & Photography: Ged Camera

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