Sunday, 2 June 2013

Swim Deep - 31/5/2013 Birmingham Institute

Where the heavens are they? - Well, Swim Deep are in Birmingham tonight and like local lads Peace, they've been causing quite a stir in the second city. So, Is "Btown" here to stay? I headed over to the HMV Institute to find out.

Opening with ‘Francisco’, Swim Deep take to the stage to a flurry of screams from their audience. T he track itself seems to capture the enthusiasm of the crowd, allowing them all to bounce in time with Zach Robinson’s drums. Donned in a pink and green sequin number, Cavan McCarthy's bass-line drives the majority of the track; by the end of the song the entire crowd are clapping along.
During this, lead vocalist Austin Williams' guitar amp breaks, dimming the atmosphere for around five minutes. That said, Cavan McCarthy and guitarist Tom Higgins are on hand to throw flowers into the petal-craving audience; it's a little odd to watch.
Just as the crowd were getting restless the crisis is averted and the four-piece break into hit-single 'Honey'. This songs redeeming feature is it's catchy chorus; Williams has the crowd in the palm of his hands by this point as they recite the words back to him.
Putting their hiccups behind them the band persevere through their set, 'Make My Sun Shine' and 'Stray' are both up next. The songs see the audience not quite as laid back as their music, with crowd-surfers and piggy-backers littered throughout the crowd.
As Austin Williams shouts 'I love you Birmingham', the feeling of love is evidently reciprocated as a chocolate bar is thrown onto the stage at the frontman. With the crowd feeling particularly sweet, Swim Deep move onto a track entitled "Simmer". Glows of purple and yellow lights fill the stage
during this song, contributing to the overall mellow mood of the track.
Another dose of guitar-flu is evident in penultimate track 'Crush' too. But this time it's the turn of lead guitarist Tom Higgins. Not to worry though, as it’s a hometown show the band break into an impromptu game of Family Fortunes, pointing out their respective family members to the audience. After
performing crowd favourite 'The Sea' the band retire backstage.
To repetitive chants of 'Swim Deep', Williams and company return to the stage to play a final two songs. Newest singe 'She Changes The Weather' is up first, starting with an acoustic style opening and then ending in a flurry of confetti. Last up is ‘King City’; the prominent bass-line has Williams spitting
his water into the air as the song kicks in. As their flowers are held aloft, the band ends their set.
Swim Deep showed that they have a decent amount of bang for your buck. Despite technical issues, the audience didn’t seem phased and were singing back the lyrics all night (to the songs that they knew). With this in mind, their debut record will no doubt also be very well received when it lands on 29
July 2013.

Review by Ross Watson

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