Swim Deep: The Plug, Sheffield

Watching Swim Deep, it feels as though you’ve been encapsulated and transported back to the 90’s pop punk movement. All baggy T’s, shaggy hair and headbands, this foursome from Birmingham look like they’ve stepped out of a Californian dream and just so happen to be on a stage in Sheffield. They take to the situation with ease, flinging their bodies and instruments around, smirking at each other in somewhat disbelief. Their coolness about the whole thing is quite endearing.

The band are greeted with squawks, whistles and a lot of bellowing- mostly courtesy of teenage girls sporting crop tops and matted hair, embodying the feeling of the performance. Their first few tracks are engulfed by the crowd, with ‘Stray’ as their opening number. There’s a lot of head bopping, swaying and shimmying, the spectators enjoying the cool melodic waves of Swim Deep’s laid back drawl. ‘The Sea’ and ‘Honey’ seem to be firm favourites amongst the fans, almost like anthems, their trademark songs, everyone singing along. Although the set is full of the catchy tunes that have launched them into the music spotlight, it’s also a mixture of newer tracks like ‘Beach Justice’ and ‘Red Lips’, both of which prove that this group of Birmingham boys are developing and maturing into a band of substance.

As the foursome become more energetic themselves, Austin accidentally hitting Cavan with his guitar, the crowd absorb the energy from the boys on stage, contorting and launching themselves in an effort to crowd surf. As the gig draws to an end, the recognisable beat of ‘King City’ kicks in. Laced with a catchy chorus, this track is one of the obvious big hitters and a clear favourite of the entourage that launch into a frantic mosh pit at the foot of the stage. As the song peaks, Austin throws down his guitar with nonchalance and launches himself into the crowd of gyrating teenagers before him. The song dies down and the crowd quietens for thank you’s from the band. It’s clear that this group have made quite the impression. As one onlooker announced in the middle of the set, ‘I’m having a really good time!’ I think that statement sums it up for everyone.

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