A couple of weeks after their 2nd album release “Mothers”, Swim Deep return to Birmingham for their first show since the release. There’s always a special atmosphere which accompanies a home based gig for any band; fans are at the venue early and you can feel that buzz of excitement. A sort of patriotism that Swim deep have managed to build up extremely well and makes fans feel like they have a very personal relationship with the band.
Support act came from the young Brighton based boys of The Magic Gang (7/10) who are massively on the rise and already made a name for themselves as one of the most exciting new bands out there. My first encounter with Magic Gang was during their support tour with Wolf Alice and even without knowing any of the songs, they completely stole the show. On this occasion however (maybe because my expectations were at ‘fan girl’ level) there wasn’t as much excitement in their performance. Nevertheless, the new songs of their upcoming EP that they played showed some great promise and they still put on a pretty feel-good show.
Before the crowd managed to recover and settle down from all the jumping about for Magic Gang, Swim Deep (6/10) walked on to an eruption of eager fans. Kicking off the show with “Namaste, “Francisco” and “Grand Affection” made it a super energetic, dance packed start and really demonstrates how much energy is bursting out from the new songs. Unfortunately however, throughout the entirety of the 3 songs, Cavan McCarthy’s Bass wasn’t working and it took a couple of minutes of awkward interruptions and silences from the band until they got it fixed. This killed off the atmosphere a bit and throughout the rest of the gig the band didn’t seem to be totally engaged with the crowd.
Overall, the set-list was a great mix of old and new bangers, with a few non-singles from the new album put in for good measure. However it’s the songs like “Honey” or “She Changes the Weather” that still get the biggest response and sing along. While newer song like “Fueigo Boogie” are really impressive musically, the popier and simpler sounds of the 1st album still seem to come across much better. A lot of the time it felt like the large amount of sounds that are arranged in the new songs just drown each other out and actually make it sound messy to a certain extent, with Austin’s vocals barely recognisable. Nonetheless, the encore, including single “To My Brother” made a great ending to the evening as the band seemed to get back in the groove of it all.