Review of Swim Deep at the O2 Academy Liverpool

Posted on 16 October 2015
By Ella O'Prey
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When talking amongst the young, trend conscious indie followers who strive to be the first to know about any undiscovered, yet up and coming bands, Swim Deep is a sure name to be brought up.

Last night, the five piece group, consisting of Austin Williams (vocals), Tom Higgins (guitar), Zachary Robinson (drums), Cavan McCarthy (bass) and James Balmont (keys and percussion), took to the stage as part of their UK tour after the release of their second album, Mothers.

Having been a follower of Swim Deep for a few years now, as well as attending a number of their previous gigs, I couldn’t help but notice the difference in the crowd as the floor of the O2 academy filled. A much younger audience seemed to take over the venue. Gangs of teenagers, many rocking Swim Deep t-shirts, congregated at the front of the stage, cameras at the ready, sloshing back pints of beer like there was a drought (at least, those who were old enough to get served).

As lead singer Austin struts up to the mic, a bout of hysteria sets over the crowd until the beginning chords of the band’s single, Namaste, fills the room. To describe the initial performance as energetic is an understatement.

Moods were high as Austin made good use of his tambourine, all while not following the uplifting start, a number of new songs where performed as a ‘thank you’ to the fans who quite obviously adore the group.

Although the whole point of the tour is to promote new material from the album, there was a definite lull in energy as the majority didn’t seem to be familiar in a bid to break up the back to back songs, Austin took time to compliment the city, even going as “I want to get a nice house in Liverpool. I love it so much here. What do you think guys?”

Well, the thought alone caused clear excitement in the crowd, leading perfectly into one of their most popular songs, Honey. For me, this was absolutely the highlight of the night. There was not one still body in the whole venue, and no one could deny that the feel good song didn’t make them feel automatically happy and uplifted.

At this point in the set, there seemed to be a real bond developing in the crowd, a mutual respect from one fan to another, something that is becoming quite a rarity in from one of the bands most popular song to another, King City’s intro kicks in. King City is my personal favourite track, however I couldn’t help but feel quite underwhelmed.

The performance seemed to be lacking the punch that the previous tracks did, and honestly felt quite flat, leaving more to be desired. This is slightly disappointing as it is such a powerful song and could have really ended the whole show on a major high. despite this slight dip, the crowd just seemed happy that these 2 classic songs had a spot on the set.

Summation; if you’re a fan of up-and-coming indie/pop, and fancy a lively, exuberant gig where you can muck in, act stupid and dance like a student again – Swim Deep is the gig for you.

My love for this band still stands strong, and will remain for a long time coming.