Upon entering Concorde 2, I wasn’t sure what to expect from the support acts of the indie-rock group Spector. I was pleasantly surprised, however, at both Swim Deep and Splashh who had joined the nationwide tour, and I’m certain this gig is just the start of what will be a hugely successful series of shows.
Birmingham based four-piece Swim Deep, who have recently been signed by major record label RCA, were up first. Lead singer Austin Williams arrived on stage, tambourine in tow, and their first few songs started the night off perfectly, with light guitar riffs producing an upbeat atmosphere. This sound was in complete contrast to Williams’ dark vocal range, yet the two merged together surprisingly well. Three songs into their set, Williams switched to guitar and the vibration of multiple guitars created a far more intense mood. Songs, including new single ‘Honey’ and ‘King City’, were definitive standouts. The small audience, albeit strong for a first support act, certainly reinforced the ‘beach grunge’ label the band seems to be painted with. The set finished in style, with a heavy climax and an impromptu breakdown. Williams even went so far as to play the guitar behind his head (and with his tongue!), Jimmy Hendrix – style. Technically, Swim Deep were superb, with the drummer being most notable.
Next up were Splashh. Toto Vivien’s vocals called to mind both The Strokes and The Cribs, with some hints of The Horrors too. The fact that Splashh were already on a tour with now firmly established indie-rockers Spector is a surprise in itself. The ensemble only formed in late February as a two-piece, consisting of Vivien and lead guitarist Sacha Carlson. This year they have expanded that line-up to a four piece, releasing an excess of music in an impressively short amount of time from a bedroom-studio in Hackney. The synchronised riffs and harmonies from Vivien and Carlson, coupled with their comparatively heavier sound, produced an arresting and enjoyable set. Particularly notable was the thoroughly catchy and psychedelic ‘All I Wanna Do’ as well as ‘Vacation’- which was firmly embedded with influence of The Cribs.
Finally Spector played a barn-storming set. Fred MacPherson was magnificent at whipping up the crowd (not that they needed an incentive). Loud in character and attire, he even took time between songs to critique some of the outfit choices of the crowd for the night.
Concorde 2 is a relatively small venue but not stifling, and it allowed both the support acts to project their sound without sacrificing the quality. To say that Swim Deep and Splashh will be making big waves in the future is a pretty sound prediction…