live review... Swim Deep
It's been a while since Swim Deep have made a stop in Cambridge. It's been two years. They last played the same venue in 2013 with a solid line up as they brought Wolf Alice and Sundara Karma along with them. Tonight though the Brum five piece return with Catholic Action and The Magic Gang on their tour, which includes a big date at Camden's Roundhouse, promoting their second LP Mothers. There aren't too many people in the room when Catholic Action come on stage. Thick Scottish accents with catchy indie-pop hooks sparks some dancing amongst the young crowd. Half an hour was a decent time for Catholic Action. It got to the point that their songs sort of blended into one with the same bouncy beat. Up next is The Magic Gang who played the same support set at the same venue not too long ago on Wolf Alice's tour. Tonight the response from the crowd was not quite the same. The Magic Gang provided great melodies and alternating vocals, with slight Mac DeMarco vibes shining through. It was a solid support set, even if the girls at the front looked like they were getting more and more pissed off by the folk having a good time.
The crowd doesn't get much busier by the time the lights go down for Swim Deep. 2013's show saw a bigger crowd, but a smaller audience doesn't stop the rowdiness of it all, as the guy wearing a Sonic Youth t shirt proved by trying to open up unnecessary mosh pits. Maybe I should have reminded him that we were at a Swim Deep gig... Launching into Mothers single Namaste Swim Deep provided with the synths and funk from the get-go. It wasn't till Where The Heaven Are We classic Francisco, with frontman Austin Williams counting in the dream-like melodies, that the crowd really got going. It was a sea of long hair and drunkeness as Swim Deep progressed through their mostly new songs set. Williams has most certainly upped his game as a frontman and seems much more comfortable vocally with the new songs which feature a lot of strobes creating a real 90's This Is England vibe. Williams reminds you of a young Ian Brown with his stage presence and being able to start a frenzy with Red Lips I Know and King City. "This will be our last song," Austin states before launching into the eight and a half minute long, acid drenched Fueiho Boogie. Bassist Cavan McCarthy swaps centre stage postion with Williams so the front man can play with some form of electronic synth machine creating non-Earth, alien-like sounds. The band leave the stage sparking a chant of "we want more" almost immediately after their departure. They return to play another one from their newest album, before Austin Williams thanks the crowd and goes into the sing along Intro on Where The Heaven Are We before the huge crowd response to the opening keys on She Changes The Weather, an indie love anthem. Once again Williams says good night before closing their hour and a bit long set with the first single from Mothers titled To My Brother.
The crowd in Cambridge may be smaller, but Swim Deep have most definitely returned more polished and sounding better than ever. Mothers is a record that seems to have really helped Swim Deep find their feet in their live shows and tonight proves just that. Despite them already having two albums under their belt it feels that Swim Deep are still at the start of their music careers and if they can continue to progress like they have in the same way as the past two years then they won't have any troubles staying a prominent band in the UK indie scene.
Watch the brilliant music video for Namaste below... You won't want to miss Fred Macpherson in his leather vest.