“When I would go and see bands, I would always think, fuck, I want to do what they’re doing up there. That was the dream. I want to do that, and I want to do that with my mates.”
It’s funny how things can work out. Those were the words of Sea Girls’ Henry Camamile back in 2020, on the cusp of releasing a debut album full of ready-made anthems that would be setting light to venues and festival fields just over a year later. For some bands, that sudden sense of adulation and reaction can be daunting. For Sea Girls, its only real effect has been to embolden them to reach even greater heights. A revelatory Main Stage turn at Reading & Leeds but a few months ago was only further confirmation of a band stepping into the big-time – and tonight at Brixton Academy? Never have a band felt more ready than this.
Since those early shows at Omeara, and similar venues up and down the land, that searing sense of ambition has been Sea Girls’ indisputable message. Every step was greeted with open arms, fans longing to find a band they could claim as their own. One that sang about the same struggles that pop up in everyone’s life, with an added jolt of unbreakable determination. If it feels like they’re part of a long lineage of bands that mean a lot to a lot of people, it’s because they’re exactly that. By the time ‘Open Up Your Head’ landed, shows like tonight’s were more of a demand than a hopeful question. Ready to create the sort of moments they once saw while standing in the crowd themselves, this is a lesson on how to be a bloody big deal.
As soon as Sea Girls step onto that Brixton Academy stage, it’s hard to picture them anywhere else. ‘Call Me Out’, ‘Violet’ and ‘Transplant’ are unstoppable, and the pace never relents from there. This is a night they’ve been dreaming of for years, and it shows. They embrace every glorious moment, sounding born for it as they surge through a powerhouse set made for these hallowed halls. ‘Forever’, ‘Moving On’ and ‘Ready For More’ reach overflowing levels of energy, with Henry fully embracing that storied frontman role in all its glory. Whether it’s leading singalongs, standing under the spotlight or diving to the front of the crowd – he’s every bit the future indie titan he’s pointed towards from the beginning.
True evolution, though, comes with Sea Girls next chapter. With second album ‘Homesick’ arriving in a matter of months, the spread seen tonight is a moreish teaser of what comes next. ‘Lonely’ stands out, sung back in unison after a brief intro from Henry, bursting with the sort of hunger for more you can’t help but be sucked into.
It adds a thrilling potential to a set of undeniable joy. Sea Girls have aimed for this very stage since the beginning, and they refuse to do anything by half measures. Whether it’s Henry diving into the crowd to ‘Damage Done’, or the moment where he and Rory stand in the spotlight for an elevating cover of Adele’s ‘Someone Like You’ (it is Adele Day, after all) – it all feels like the mannerisms of a band aiming for stadium level. The confidence and swagger to pull it off at their biggest moment to date is an intoxicating mix that leaves Brixton in awe.
Count the hits, and they keep coming. From ‘Do I Really Wanna Know’ and ‘Call It What It Is’ to ‘Too Much Fun’ and a confetti-filled ‘All I Wanna Hear You Say’ – tonight is proof that there are few bands who, after one album, can rival Sea Girls’ catalogue. This stage feels like home. If tonight is any indication, you won’t see them in any smaller rooms from here on out. Adding their name to the storied history of an iconic venue, Sea Girls ride on. Those dreams are about to get a whole load bigger.