Gig Review... Swim Deep @ Brudenell Social Club, Leeds, 16th February 2013

Support from The Covelles and JAWS gave this gig a terrific line-up (for only £8!) and they did not disappoint giving rousing performances. With many grown men drunk and hipster students eagerly waiting, Swim Deep made it on stage to tower in front of their large tie-dye banner. The intimacy of the venue made for a great gig with keen eye contact from lead vocalist Austin and casual chat between songs with bassist Cavan. They run through their set quickly, pushing all the right buttons and giving an almost perfect representation of their vibe.

With ‘Honey’ early on, we get a sing-a-long and a jumping crowd at stage front as the recognisable synth and bassline reverb through the small venue with the croon “don’t just dream in your sleep it’s just lazy”. Zachary ‘the model’ on drums quickly removes his shirt as does Austin later as the band really get up for it. Although the band don’t have a identifiably strong back catalogue of songs, all the youngsters in the room thrown themselves about as if it’s an arena filling anthem. Favourites ‘Orange County’ and ‘Beach Justice’ are received well with their breezy swagger whilst clothes fly around the room in a frenzy – “is this the clothes show?”.

On the back of a storming first half, Swim Deep introduce acclaimed new single ‘The Sea’ and produces the best performance of the night. Austin easy going voice eases the crowd, before the rest of the B-town boys break into a loud and infectious onslaught – making this song so much more powerful than it is recorded. A short drum solo from Zac shows how confident this band is, and that the ‘don’t overdo it’ approach works for them. The set ends in a crazy routine of crowd pleaser and status cementing ‘King City’ which involves bare chests, a stage dive from Austin, crowd surfing, a mini stage invasion, a mini fight and a thumping rendition.

Despite some idiotic crowd members giving the song a sour end, it was still as powerful and destructive as ever bolstering this band as a touring force. The crowd leaving very fed by witnessing three great bands run through their sets pristinely, and are eager to see just how far Swim Deep can go. My thoughts, very far – they have the songs and they have the stage presence and skills to take the festivals by storm and with a d├ębut album on its way anything can happen.

Written by - Richard Maver

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