Review: Swim Deep – The Institute, Birmingham, 15/02/13

Tonight Birmingham’s young and eccentric crowd gather at The Institute to welcome back hometown heartthrobs Swim Deep for their biggest hometown headline show yet. With a highly anticipated album set for release in May and hot new single The Sea under their belt and earning attention galore, the upgraded show tonight screams potential as the potential of major of success seems more likely than ever before.

As the cheerful and carefree quartet take the stage, frontman Austin appears with a bouquet of flowers that he throws to his beloved B-town bunch. The blend of hazy, 90s pop begins and drowns the venue in a watery sonic, transporting the whole room to that hot California beach they are so particularly fond of, making it truly difficult to believe that the bummed-out seaside lovers are from the cold and damp suburbs of Birmingham.

The combination of shaggy, dreamy vocals mixed with lazy, grunge guitar loops set the gig in a consistently impressive motion as the four friends please their fans with feel-good favourites Honey, Beach Justice and Orange County. A shirtless Zachary treats the audience further with a striking drum solo before an out-of-breath Austin adoringly exclaims: “You mean a lot to me. You mean a lot to us guys.” The night ends with breakthrough track King City, grinning fans and a glistening sense of excitement lingering in the air, setting the stall out for the blossoming year this band have ahead of them.

Review by Ivy Photiou

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