Packing out Hackney’s Sebright Arms to the point where people are being turned away at the door mustn’t be any bad thing, especially when it’s your first headline gig. Last Thursday seemed to bring anyone who was anyone together in the pub basement for B-Town’s Swim Deep.
As apparently they’re influenced by the weather when writing their songs, it was no surprise to see the stage decorated with smiley sunshine piñatas, which livened up the stage but at times covered their pretty faces (professional term).
Support came in the form of Wolf Alice and Temples (though we unfortunately missed the former…) However Temples more than made up for it. After having only listened to them and not knowing what they looked like, it was both a funny and pleasant surprise to see the frontman not only sounds like he belongs in Marc Bolan’s era, but he could also be his twin with a mass of amazing curly hair and a gold shirt draped across his collar bones. The highlight of their set would have to be ‘Shelter Song’, sounding gloriously 60s/70s – superbly honed psychedelic jangling of the guitar combined with Bagshaw’s lazy drawl are so perfect together and the result is simply astounding music (I am beginning to embarrassingly gush).
Time to gush some more I’m afraid because it was actually my first time seeing one of my favourite bands of the past decade – it was an experience. The basement was packed, the weather wasn’t necessarily cold outside, but Swim Deep made it feel like summer with their infectious weather influenced pop-rock. The band went through there, what feels like a short set, playing songs like ‘Gold’ and ‘Crush’ but the standout tracks would have to be ‘Beach Justice’, ‘King City’ and of course, new single ‘Honey’.
‘Beach Justice’ came nicely in the middle of the set; a sombre break both showcasing the other side to their music but also calming down the already raucous crowd, preparing them for the next song being ‘King City’ where the crowd began to sing along properly. However, a touching moment came at the end of the set with ‘Honey’ when frontman Austin Williams was truly taken aback at how many of the crowd were singing along (it was kind of cute- another professional opinion).
And here ends tonight’s gig (though fellow young indie band Splashh were DJ-ing afterwards); an amazing display of new music, completely varying in style. If this is a Swim Deep gig at the intimate Sebright Arms, I both look forward to and dread them selling out bigger venues; I want them all to myself.
Words: Emily Arc
‘Honey’ will be released on 5th November with a b-side of ‘Orange County.’