Mon 21 Oct 2019

Review… Swim Deep Take Band On The Wall


A sold out show always has the best atmosphere, and that was very true of Swim Deep’s Manchester show at Band On The Wall last night. After four years of no music the Birmingham band are still able to captivate a room and ensure everyone walks out feeling nothing but love.

“Hello Manchester! We haven’t said that in a while,” front man Austin Williams shouted as he glided on stage with his tambourine. The energetic entrance from the band ensured an explosion of energy from the crowd. Their second song of the evening, ‘Honey’ showed that everyone in the room was a hardcore fan. The song is from their debut album and everyone recognised it from the first few chords. I could feel the floor jumping up and down with the crowd as everyone lost themselves in the music. The trend of playing their old favourites continued with ‘To My Brother’, with the liveliness of the crowd not slipping for a second. The blue mood lighting helped with the atmosphere in the room while everyone sang at the top of their lungs.

The old school feel of their social media is helped by the camcorder they use to film while they’re on stage, and that job was for keyboardist James Balmont. It gave the gig a more familiar feel, like a mum filming her children performing in their living room. James also took a Polaroid of the crowd before the band exited the stage, a keepsake for the band to remind them of the family they have built with their fans.

“We released a new album called ‘Emerald Classics’, thank you very much if you’ve heard it or listened to it. We are very proud!” Austin announced before the beginning of ‘0121 Desire’ kicked in. The red lighting changed the atmosphere of the room, but no one stopped singing or dancing. Despite the newer songs like ‘Bruised’ and ‘Sail Away, Say Goodbye’ having a very different feel to old Swim Deep, the audience did not lull. Every song was met with high energy and everyone was dancing around the room and singing at the top of their lungs like they didn’t have a care in the world.

Despite some sound problems with the monitors on stage, Swim Deep managed to get every person in the room dancing. ‘Soul Trippin’ had Austin and bassist Cavan McCarthy losing themselves on stage, their dancing even inspired parents to get into the music. This classic Swim Deep song really demonstrated how easy it is to pull everyone in a crowd together, young and old, and they achieved it effortlessly.

Austin played the first few chords of ‘The Sea’ and the crowd were ecstatic, but James had to try and get Austin’s attention to inform him that he was playing the wrong song. “I’ve been told it’s not that song yet,” Austin laughed into the microphone. The anticipation for that song was high, and when it was played not one foot was left on the floor.

‘King City’ was the final song to be played but no one was sad. People were crowd surfing, sat on their friends shoulders and moshing like it was the last time they would ever be able to. A Swim Deep gig is the perfect place to go if you want to lose yourself in the music, and that is exactly what everyone did last night.

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