Promoting the release of their second LP, Mothers, Swim Deep treated the bar at Rough Trade in Hockley to a brief and intimate set of new tracks from the album, as well as a few old favourites from Where The Heaven Are We.
Building on a foundation of catchy, if derivative indie-pop tunes from the first album, Mothers sees the five-piece from Birmingham expand their horizons and incorporate bolder electronic, 80’s pop and new-wave overtones. Having accrued a sizeable and passionate fan base off the back of WTHAW, it appears that experimenting with their sound on Mothers has paid off, with overall favourable critical reception, and no visible dent in the enthusiasm of their followers.
Indeed, the Nottingham contingent of Swim Deep’s fanbase enjoys a set that rattles through their new singles with unassailable confidence. They open with the trippy electronic sounds of ‘Forever Spaceman’, a track which deafens the crowd with the inclusion of a sixty-second, veritable wall of sound – deliberately adding to the unpredictable contours of the new album.
The atmospheric introduction to the lead single, ‘One Great Song And I Could Change The World’, is met with resounding cheers, swaying bodies, and nodding heads as the metallic synth melodies fill the packed bar. The highlight of the performance is new single ‘Namaste’, which elicits the vivacity of both band and fans in its full, upbeat energy and soaring, electro-infused chorus lines.
A downside to a smaller venue such as Rough Trade, and, more at fault, our generation’s ceaseless desire to exist vicariously through social media, is the rows of blinkering smartphones held aloft throughout the entire set, casting the band in incessant flashes of light and even prolonged illumination as one attendee adds every single track of the performance to their snapchat story.
“Mothers sees the five-piece from Birmingham expand their horizons and incorporate bolder electronic, 80’s pop and new-wave overtones”
Other than the obvious issue of interrupting other people’s view and enjoyment – one girl beside us moans loudly “Oh put your fucking phones down” after five songs of this – surely you miss out on the pleasure of such an intimate gig when you excessively enjoy the present only as an anticipated memory.
This issue aside, Swim Deep express repeatedly their gratitude for what appears to be a positive reception for the new songs. They close the set with ‘To My Brother’, which, with its grooving, rhythmic beat, poppy synth hooks, and driving, riff-heavy ending, sends the crowd home happy.
James is currently listening to ‘Under The Plastic and N.C.T.’ by Sleaford Mods