Self-titled, “ambassadors of feel good” Swim Deep graced the stage at the Institute this October. The indie rockers released their second album Mothers in early October. Frontman Austin Williams revealed the band’s ambition for this new album in an interview with NME. “We wanted to radicalise chart music,” He also made it clear that they’ve moved away from their hazy melodies from debut album Where the Heaven are we, and have been inspired by Acid House to create a modern day “Screamadelica”.
The band have had a very successful summer. This year playing at Glastonbury, Reading and Leeds and also Festival Internacional de Benicàssim (FIB) in Spain. I can tell you from my own experience, that the NME tent at Reading is another world compared to the 200 person capacity venues the band started out playing. This success has continued with their current headline tour around the UK and Europe this Winter.
The crowd erupted into a steady chant as the house lights dimmed and bizarrely, the Jurrasic Park theme tune was played. Reactions varied and a communal sense of bewilderment was felt amongst the crowd, I mean how many times have you heard that played at a concert? But this is just one of many charming quirks Swim Deep offers their audience. As the band took to the stage, their cool and calm aura created another presence in the room. The crowd quickly burst into life, surging forward, cheering and screaming. Welcoming home what felt like our old friends.
It’s safe to say that Swim Deep have ditched their grunge-inspired roots, not only in their music but also in their image. Nirvana tees and converse combo were banished for vintage, high waisted, flares, button-down shirts and DMs. Their look is still unique and captures their trademark flamboyant image perfectly.
Opening their set with Namaste, a mesmerising track from their new album. The track is a combination of vintage inspired synths with an optimistic beat and catchy chorus. Looking around everyone was dancing with a huge smile glued to their face, there was definitely a festival atmosphere for the duration of their set.
This feeling of ecstasy only grew as their set continued. Old favourites Francisco, Honey and King City made the crowd roar with happiness. Some climbed on their friends shoulders, others crowd surfed and huge mosh pits formed, in which everyone danced and jumped together. There was a wonderful feeling of unity in the room and an incredibly friendly atmosphere. The iconic chorus of “Don’t just dream in your sleep it’s just lazy” echoed through the whole venue, full of euphoric nostalgic teens, reliving memories and being reunited with their old favourites.
The band combined the old with the new, keeping the crowd on their toes and hungry for more. As their set came to a crescendo with the epic, 8-minute track that is Fueiho Boogie. Bending the minds of the audience with quick tempos, a cacophony of synths and echos of classic D&B beats. The track grows with intensity as it plays, all members of the band seemingly at one with the music, as are the audience, sending them on one last psychedelic trip.
Swim Deep have evolved with the release of this new album, creating a new hypnotic sound. A melting pot of groovy melodies, gospel influences and a prominent baseline. The band most definitely have not forgotten their B-Town home and played for a room of adoring fans. It was certainly one of the best atmospheres I’ve ever experienced. The enthusiasm of the crowd was second to none, this was a gig to remember and I can’t wait to see them again.