Categorized | Live Reviews

Free Swim live at The Hydrant, Brighton, 04/06/11

Posted on 05 June 2011 by Dorian

The evening at The Hydrant in Brighton features four bands, and the free entry makes it an unarguably good value evening of entertainment. The packed bill does mean that it is 11pm before Free Swim take to the stage. I’m approaching 40 and was starting to flag at this point, but as they launch into their first tune something magical happens. The bands bass player is dressed in a panda outfit something that immediately lifts the spirits and puts smiles on faces. The lively, melodic and tightly played music that surrounds the focal point panda is pretty special as well.

Free Swim

Free Swim

The set is made up of tracks from the bands brilliant two EPs, starting with songs from Yolanda the Panda before moving on to tracks from their first EP Two Hands is OK. Throughout the set the music is fun and frantic, and the lyrics are amusing and engaging, staying the right side of the line from being novelty songs.

The band and crowd both seemed to be having a great time, dancing, applauding and going crazy for the panda crowd invasion late on in the set. I came to the gig with a group of people who had not heard of the band before I invited them along and, without expectations or familiarity, it was greeted with unanimous approval which is a rare thing.

The songs from the first half of the set, from the second EP, just about shaded it in terms of song quality but there were no duff tunes in a short but strong set. It was a short set, but some times it is best to leave a crowd wanting more and I’m glad that a bunch of hastily written fillers weren’t added to extend the set length for this tour. I look forward to hearing what the band records next, on the evidence of what they produced so far it will be worth the wait.


Watch a clip of the band playing ‘I Want to be a Mountaineer’.

By Dorian Rogers


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