Monday, 25 February 2013

Review: Swim Deep @ Joiners

Southampton Joiners is a lovely venue, granted, but not necessarily the most romantic place to spend Valentine’s Day. For one thing, it gets pretty sweaty in there. Almost every artist or band who play Joiners comment on the unrelenting heat, and Swim Deep are no exception tonight. Within the first few minutes, drummer Zach Robinson has whipped his t-shirt off, soon to be joined by lead singer Austin later in the set.

To get the audience in the valentines’ mood, the band come on stage to one of the more romantic love songs of the past decade, ‘Fuck it (I don’t want you back)’ by Eamon. Opening with one of many new songs (six out of the eleven they played, if you want to be particular) the band sound perfectly at ease with the newer material, and the crowd react suitably, with restrained gentle swaying.

Whilst the new songs sound very promising, which is impressive considering this is the first time the band have played many of them live at all, it’s the singles that really showcase what Swim Deep are about. As soon as the drums crash into Honey, the crowd explode. After a number of support slots for the likes of Spector and Two Door Cinema Club, the band are tight and the songs sound brilliant. The difference in this case is the reaction from the crowd. Tonight is no support slot, the venue is filled to capacity with paying customers who came to see Swim Deep, and the band seem genuinely humbled and excited to be playing.

After playing a set of almost entirely new songs, bar latest single The Sea , b-side Beach Justice and Led Zeppelin cover Down by the Seaside , Austin announced that they only had one more song. As soon as the band launched into King City, a few fans jumped on stage. They were followed by a few more, and a few more, until security were calling in back-up, half the audience were onstage, Austin was suddenly topless and the music stopped. When everyone finally jumped down and guitars had been plugged back in, Austin grinned and said, “Shall we try that again?”

Having made it all the way through their second attempt at King City, the band leave the stage (accompanied by ‘Fuck U Right Back’ by Frankee, of course) and the mess of sweaty, exasperated teenagers behind. It may not have been the most romantic way for a lot of them to spend their valentine’s day, but nobody seemed to mind.

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