Swim Deep The beach-grunge foursome returned to Birmingham for their biggest hometown show to date along with up and coming local talent on Friday. This gig once again proved that the hype surrounding Birmingham’s current infamous music scene is totally justifiable and isn’t something that’s just being fabricated by the media as fans had travelled from all across the country especially to be in Birmingham for Swim Deep’s show – the Mecca for new music lovers. One of Birmingham’s newest outfits, Laced, certainly didn’t fail to impress as they opened the show. It’s pretty incredible to think that this five piece played their very first gig just over three months ago in a pub in Birmingham. Laced sounded better than ever and didn’t seem to be at all overwhelmed by the whole experience, looking completely comfortable on such a big stage and performed like true rock stars. They finished their set with ‘Jade Vine,’ the only track that they’ve released online, and filled the room with gorgeously grungy harmonies and a full sound of swirling shoegazey guitar riffs.
Wide Eyed Wide Eyed’s epic psychedelic tunes are clearly made for venues of this size. Three songs into their set and seemingly out of nowhere the crowd simultaneously went wild for the wonderful sounds of ‘Still.’ It really is impossible not to react in some way as the sounds build up to an epic explosion of grunge with the most ear-piercingly good guitar riff.
Wide Eyed In what was probably Wide Eyed’s best gig of their musical careers so far, the crowd continued to go downright crazy during new tracks ‘Feel Free’, ‘Tell Me’ and ‘In Your Head’ which showed great promise. The word epic just has to be overused when describing this band.
Wide Eyed Wide Eyed were epic, loud and brilliant even without playing ‘Bleak’. The high pitched screams when the Swim Deep boys walked on stage were deafening. In fact, the high pitched screams didn’t stop at any point during the gig.
Swim Deep The young fans went completely nuts for every track and mosh pits appeared left right and centre. ‘Honey’ and ‘The Sea’ were obvious favourites as every single memorable lyric was chorused back to the band. They seemed truly overwhelmed by the size of the crowd and Austin even said “this is so weird.” There was a particularly cute moment as Austin introduced each of the band’s family sitting in the balconies in a cheesy Family Fortunes fashion.
Swim Deep Even the encore was borderline emotional as confetti cannons were released and flowers were thrown into the crowd (how very Morrissey) while the soft yet powerful vibes of ‘She Changes the Weather’ flowed through the room. Swim Deep have come so far since the release of ‘King City’ and as soon as that quirky drum beat kicked in, once again, the crowd erupted into a frenzy of admiration. For anyone who has watched these bands grow over the past months, the whole night was just surreal. From seeing Wide Eyed and Swim Deep play at that legendary Christmas show at the Rainbow last year to the big stage at the Institute is crazy. Seeing as though this special gig was a build up to Swim Deep’s album, who knows what madness will ensue once their debut, Where the Heaven Are We is released on July 29. Swim Deep have announced their biggest UK tour to date – click here for more information. Photographs by Edward Taylor / digital-flow.co.uk.