SWMRS @ The Deaf Institute
Having cancelled their scheduled Manchester date earlier in the year, the Californian punk rockers return for an intimate and sweaty occasion
Words: Jay Kirk | Portrait: Cai Dixon
Californian punk rockers SWMRS hosted a small run of UK headline shows, with special appearances at Reading and Leeds Festival last weekend. The band included Manchester's intimate Deaf Institute in their run, and Manchester Rocks was there to experience it.
SWMRS were due to play Manchester earlier this year, but due to traffic they were unable to make the show, promising they would return before the end of the year, and they sure didn't break that promise.
The highly anticipated show left fans queing hours before the doors were even due to open. Supporting was indie band Blackwaters, who jammed the kind of up beat punk songs are ones that'll be stuck in my head for weeks. Filling the first support slot perfectly they got the crowd rowdy and ready for Brawlers; The Leeds band spending their set getting up close and personal with the crowd, cracking some northern jokes and having a good time with all.
As 9pm came SWMRS were ready to play and there wasn't room to breathe as the crowd tried in unison to push to the front. They instantly kicked off their set with a banger, playing single Harry Dean which sent the whole crowd into chaos. If there had to be three words to describe them on that night, they would be: Sweaty, crazy and bloody loud!
Later describing it as one of "the most memorable shows we've ever played" and proudly stating Manchester as their favourite city in the world, it's clear that the night was one to remember for all in attendance.
It seemed like the set was toned down around 30 minutes in as the slow intro riff to Miley began, but as the chorus came, with a minimum of four crowd surfers, the noise was enough to bring down the whole of Manchester.
They then turned to a band that have had a heavy influence on their music over the years as they covered Can't Stand Me Now by The Libertines; a song which clearly means a lot to the band. As things somehow got sweatier frontman Cole was forced to take his jumper off, revealing his polka dot dress, a (not so) pretty sight everyone needs to witness at least once in their life.
Just as you thought this night had reached its pinnacle they upped the ante and played undoubtedly their most well-known song Figuring it Out during which the floor buckled with the sheer weight and pressure of 250 people simultaneously jumping and going crazy, also finding out later that between the crowd and the band the Deaf Institute stage was on it's final legs and almost broke, this night was definitely not one to forget!
To round off the perfect night drummer Joey pounded the intro to crowd favourite Drive North and the energy and atmosphere reached it's final high as it saw Cole Becker fall into the crowds open arms screaming the outro to the song and set as one.
They thanked all in attendance for the "best show of the tour" and yet again made the promise they would return to the city of Manchester as soon as possible, and there's no doubt that they'll be back, bigger and better than ever before.