Swim Deep @ Rough Trade, 07/10/15
Birmingham boys return to Nottingham’s Rough Trade with new record and new sound. Since their dream-poppy first album, they have taken a turn to psychedelic and acid house influences for their new record ‘Mothers’ released this October.
Having only lived in Nottingham for two weeks, it was my first time seeing a gig at Rough Trade. And I loved the venue, the bar staff were friendly, the place has a nice vibe, a good selection of drinks and it’s lovely to see gig posters all around. Birmingham’s Swim Deep played a record release show for their new album ‘Mothers’ there last week. To get in you had to have bought a copy of it on CD or vinyl. It was fairly busy on the night, but there was certainly enough room to throw shapes if you wanted to – the problem was that the crowd didn’t want to. The majority moved about very little, preferring to film the songs on their iPhones rather than watch the gig through their eyes.
They turned up, thanked their fans for buying the album, played some songs from it, and threw in a couple of old crowd pleasers too (‘She Changes the Weather’ and ‘King City’). They obviously are musically tight but I would have liked to see them give a bit more in their live performance. I wasn’t blown away by them, but luckily frontman Austin’s charisma meant you never really lost interest. has no reservations when delivering the crowd a show, giving each song as much energy as the last, regardless of whether the attendees knew the tracks or not. A particular favourite moment of mine was when Williams got out his tambourine and danced around the 2X4 meter squared stage.
The majority moved about very little, preferring to film the songs on their iPhones rather than watch the gig through their eyes
‘Mothers’ is very different to their last effort ‘Where the Heaven Are We’. They’ve shifted from Stone Roses influenced shoegazey indie pop to what the band themselves call ‘psychedelic sex music’. You can hear acid house and electronica influences throughout the album.
It’s difficult to say whether this album will really push them into the limelight. A shift in musical style can be a big risk but it can also pay off. While their first album sounded like it blended nicely to the indie poppy scene at the time, I feel that ‘Mothers’ stands out a lot more, though for me, sadly, none of the songs particularly stand out. ‘Namaste’ and album closer ‘Fueho Boogie’ proved to be my favourites. Yet, I can’t help but feel that some of the songs on the album are a bit too over synthed and the band have lost the singalong songs that had proved enjoyable on their first album.
I commend a band for trying new things though and whilst I would maybe put ‘Where the Heavens Are’ on a Sunday afternoon while doing some studying, I would consider putting on ‘Mothers’ at a house party. I’d recommend this album for fans of MGMT and Tame Impala to older bands like the Happy Mondays, New order and Gary Numan.
By Sam Bigwood & Priyanka Mistry, photograph courtesy of @SWIM_DEEP