Review: Swim Deep at The Loft, Southampton


A school disco transformed into an indietronic rave.

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Four years since the release of their sophomore album Mothers, melodic indie-rock four-piece Swim Deep have dived back into the world of music and have been making a huge splash with their brand new album Emerald Classics. The new album possesses the brilliantly emotive lyricism of their debut album, Where the Heaven Are We, fused with the more experimental, electronic and techno-infused tones of Mothers. Nevertheless, this is not an album review so let’s crack on with the gig…

The Loft is a bit of a mysterious venue situated somewhere I can only describe as between Pop World & Buddha. Although they don’t seem to host that many events, when they do they’re good’uns, hosting some well-known names in the indie rock scene with bands such as Sports Team & PUP playing there later this year. As a music venue, it’s ideal! With a larger dance space than the Joiners but maintaining a positioning of the stage which allows for performers and crowd to be within close proximity. This was made use of by Swim Deep frontman Austin Williams during his set as he would often reach his hand out to the sea of raised arms in the crowd. The large disco ball reflecting light in numerous directions was immediately noticeable upon entering the venue, giving the gig a kind of school disco vibe. This was pointed out by support act Phoebe Greene during her warm-up set who’s laid back style gave something for the crowd to bop to before the main event.

Despite the arrival of Emerald Classics, Swim Deep began with their own classics, opening with early singles ‘Francisco’ & ‘Honey’, which was most certainly well received by the crowd as the sing-a-long began. ‘To My Brother’ ensued before we were treated to a trio of new ones. Williams switched between playing the tambourine, guitar and simply dancing along with the crowd. Later, he asked “does anyone play FIFA?” before bursting into ‘One Great Song and I Could Change the World’ – a track featuring on the recent FIFA 16 soundtrack. Subsequently, two great songs followed: new track ‘As Happy as Larry’, written about a friend of the band’s newborn daughter instigated a euphoric climax all before ‘Fueiho Boogie’ transported the crowd into a 90s rave as bass synths bellowed and shook the floor beneath us. The band exited the stage one-by-one but no one in the crowd was leaving just yet. They re-entered to a roar as the harmonious intro to the opening track on the new album ‘To Feel Good’ began.

An hour into their set and Swim Deep were continuing to make us feel good despite the 11 pm curfew approaching. We were treated to yet another ecstatic climax as the band ended with ‘King City’ before usual closer ‘She Changes the Weather’ (a tad over curfew time but I didn’t see anyone complaining). With all band members present at the merch stand after the gig, not to push products but simply to see the fans and have a chit-chat, Swim Deep seem like a very down to earth bunch of very talented musicians who I hope continue to evolve as a band as they have done over the past 6 years.

Swim Deep continue their UK tour through till the end of October, so be sure to check them out here.


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