SHEPHERDS BUSH EMPIRE
After support from the long-limbed melancholics of Wolf Alice, SWIM DEEP took to the stage on Friday night at the sold out Shepherds Bush Empire to the ceremonious theme tune from Jurassic Park in front of a crowd largely filled with screaming teenage girls all clambering to get closer to the Birmingham band.
A giant disco ball cast a galaxy of stars across a backdrop of nineties poster girl Drew Barrymore, as the band leaped straight into ‘Francisco’. The crowd shrieked along with the countdown ‘one, two, three, four’ and continued to mouth every word of the set. Their recently released album ‘Where The Heaven Are We’ is full of dreamy grunge-inspired shoegaze songs about teenage dreams and escaping to sunnier days, as fan favourite ‘Honey’ provided an early sing-a-long for the entire crowd.
The venue was filled with a festival-esque atmosphere for the whole show and front man Austin Williams and the rest of the band seemed humbled by the response of the 2000 capacity crowd. Extended intros and middle sections of some songs had shades of the Stone Roses about them, which doesn’t come out so much on the record. The Choir With No Name, made up of homeless people and others on the edge of society, joined the festivities as a backing band for ‘Soul Tripping’ before an enraptured performance of ‘The Sea’ and a cover of Cyndi Lauper classic ‘Girls Just Wanna Have Fun’.
The choir remained onstage and perfectly complemented the closing song of the set ‘She Changes The Weather’, which begins with an enchanting piano melody which continues throughout the song and is layered with hazy synth and dreamy vocals, enhanced further by the backing singers.
An encore saw the band joined by Wolf Alice to perform a song they penned together before confetti cannons exploded a sea of silver over the crowd for the finale ‘King City’. The summer may be a distant memory for most of us already, however Swim Deep, with their throwback t-shirts and souvenir fanzines can transport you right back into the sunshine, and to the heady days of languid teenage youth.
Photos taken by sarahdoone.co.uk