Submariner – Green Door Store – 6th November 2017

Submariner – Green Door Store
Photo by Liam McMillen

Submariner, the Sussex by way of Hampshire four-piece, have really started picking up steam over the last couple of months. With the release of new single ‘Stumbling’ and a whole host of gigs across the South Coast it’s starting to look like they might be ready to come up to the surface. Their gig at Green Door Store, along with fellow indie up-and-comers Karma Club and Blushes, showed that they might just have what it takes.

Opening the free show were Buckinghamshire band Blushes, who described themselves as “Indie/rock/phunk/sadness”. There’s certainly an ambient alt-J dynamic to the band and the balance between front vocalists Brad and Tiff is the strongest part of the unit. ‘Skin’ from debut EP, Private Viewing, is built around an irregular double structure and it’s an excellent slice of moody, dream-pop.

Next up were Bath band Karma Club. I was familiar of the band when they first started back in 2014, but I hadn’t seen them for a while. In that time, they seem to have had a musical makeover, transitioning from the Two Door Cinema Club and Bombay Bicycle Club indie-pop into a far more refined, darker style of 80s sad pop in the vein of Joy Division and The Cure. Gone are the indie friendly hits like ‘Sixties’ and ‘Timelines’ and, instead, a much more moodier, shadowy pop topped off with their excellent interpretation of Tears for Fears’ hit ‘Shout’.

It must be said, for a local gig on a Monday night, the crowd was in very fine form and arrived in lots of numbers. None more so than for headline act Submariner, who more than likely went home with more fans that night. New single ‘Stumbling’ sounded great. It’s a sumptuous, atmospheric prospect of a song. As intricate as it is impressive, it was certainly one of the highlights of the night. Likewise, ‘Grow’ is a simple, yet developed monument exhibited through raw emotions. Submariner are certainly a band that wear their hearts on their sleeves. They come across as a very organic band.

Surprisingly, their biggest song ‘Colour’ almost didn’t make an outing. They said that they “hadn’t rehearsed it”, but, cheekily, said they’ll “play it for the fans”. Luckily they did because it’s arguably their finest song, which amalgamates some excellent indie-pop sounds together. Picture a smidge of Foals, a little bit of Everything Everything and a smattering of Wild Beasts and you’d be about there. It was almost born to be an indie classic.

What was instantly clear, too, was that each band were very supporting of each other. Having toured together previously, there seems to be a nice camaraderie between the bands and they all watched each other perform. It’s not often that you see that in the music industry and it was refreshing to watch. Additionally, they all seem like such likeable people. For example, during their set Submariner’s frontman stated, with his tongue firmly in his cheek, “my name’s Jimmy and I’m a part time sales assistant at Lush”. You get the impression Submariner, along with Karma Club and Blushes, aren’t taking anything for granted and it’s invigorating to see. All three bands on the night were impressive and I think it will only be a matter of time before they make the next step which will, hopefully, be together.

Liam McMillen