The Sea Girls at O2 Southampton Guildhall 23.11 2022
I am running a bit behind with my trail of gig blogs. I don’t do every gig I go to. A few repeats at familiar venues and local pub gigs which made up my 100 nights (including some days) of live music in 2022, mean the build up to the Christmas and New Year gig desert has been busier than it may appear. The end of November/ early December gig surge did include a newer band though – worthy of some attention – The Sea Girls.
It was bright sunny day at The Other Stage at Glastonbury. Perched in camping chairs, eating ice cream and drinking cartons of chilled white wine and some distance from the stage but they got me up to listen and look harder.
An odd name for an all-bloke band based in London – they aren’t all from there originally but nothing close to the sea.
Formed in 2015, their first album Open Up Your Head was released in 2020. Bit of a hard time to push on but eventually a second, Homesick, appeared in March 2022. Both reached number 3 in the UK album chart. Their style of indie rock does lend itself to some singalong moments and frontman Henry Camamile does get a crowd going. He’s joined by three others on guitar and back vocals (Rory Young), bass (Andrew Dawson) and drums (Oli Khan).
On this November night in Southampton I was here with my wife and her son…we were all going to see The Sea Girls a year or so back in Portsmouth but they had a Covid induced postponement and they never rearranged that gig as the venue, The Pyramids, closed for a refurbishment and subsequently stopped putting on live bands.
We delayed our arrival at the Guildhall, having been attracted by an extra exotic beer or two in the excellent Belgium and Blues bar nearby. I only discovered it on a recent visit and updated my O2 Southampton Guildhall blog, which has more detail on location, pre-gig amenities and the building. This meant missing out on the support band – not something I do often.
A big crowd in – a sell-out – but standing level with the mixing desk still gave us a bit of room. It was also easy to get a bit further down the side and up against the wall to take a video or two without getting in anyone’s way.
An air of celebration when the band came on. A bit of a relief to get this tour on. Damage Done from the 2020 album to open, followed by Lucky from the 2022 album Homesick. That balance was maintained throughout with about seven tracks played from each album plus some extras such as early singles and EP tracks.
The Guildhall’s maybe now legendary ‘no crowd surfing’ signs appear to be complied with. Instead, shoulder clambering was the gymnastic feat of the evening – you don’t get that at an old punk gig these days. I feel I may have missed out on this activity. Can’t see me starting now mind. Maybe I could do one crowd surf as a grey-haired gig goer, just for the bucket list. Not at the Guildhall obviously – there are those signs.
I grabbed a camera video – new camera – getting hang of it now – of one of their typically anthemic numbers: Sick, which begged a singalong. (Link to my YouTube Channel – Sick)
Although I was only familiar with the 2022 album, I liked all I heard – they have a good set full of songs without any padding. What tonight did underline for me was, like for like, how much more I enjoy the indoor tour gig experience as against the festival set. Granted I wasn’t sat in the sunshine with a carton of chilled white wine or an ice cream but it lacks the intensity of a dark November urban night out.
Yes of course an encore – this is a crowd-pleasing band who don’t shy away from smiling and enjoying the moment. First Daisy Daisy, a slower one from a 2017 EP. Next All I Want to Hear You Say and the best, or certainly the most popular, Call Me Out to end, the main track on that 2017 EP.
Yup – a good night out and a band to keep an eye on. No ice creams at this one though.