Liam Frost is someone we last plugged on Londonist when he came to town for the music industry expo London Calling. After sharing the bill at West London's Neighbourhood, he came back last week, with his own show at ULU.
The set was heavy with tunes from the recently-released album Show Me How the Spectres Dance and a smattering of songs from Frost’s earlier EPs. This showcased the Slowdown Family’s abilities with different instruments; most noticeably Peter Marshall, who swapped between snare drum, violin, mandolin and vocal duties throughout the night.
The opening number was delivered with some real zest, broken guitar strings and all. Despite the name, the Slowdown Family hardly slows Liam Frost down; in fact, they provide the rolling, slightly shambolic backing that just gives the group a bit of an edge.
A few songs in, the band left Frost to it, to play a number of more emotional tunes and find time to lead the crowd in a rendition of Guns and Roses Sweet Child of Mine on the autoharp, then straight into a jokey rendition of No Doubt's Don't Speak, before the Family returned to the stage to bring the tempo up again.
On-stage banter and some fairly sharp interaction with the crowd showed some of the swagger that remains from Frost's earlier days in a number of Manchester punk bands, but most of the retorts to the crowd were in genuine good humour.
Liam Frost and the Slowdown Family tread the same spiky folk path that many other bands follow. They have enough charms of their own to entertain but perhaps not enough to truly enthrall a crowd destined to walk back out into the rainy grey night.