Live Review: Soccer Mommy - Scala, London 13/09/2018
To get ourselves ready for the weekend, we stopped by Scala in Kings Cross to catch up with Nashville’s “chill but kinda sad” singer-songwriter, Soccer Mommy, also known as Sophie Allison.
On the walk from Kings Cross Station to the venue, you could clearly spot all of the indie kids who were headed in the direction of Scala. To my surprise, the venue was more than half full before the start of support act, Brooke Bentham, who was also grateful for the early comers. Bentham, who shares a very similar musical style to Soccer Mommy, played a set that included songs ‘I Need Your Body’, ‘Out of My Mind’ and ‘Heavy and Ephemeral”, which discuss frustration in relationships. Though her performance was strong and crisp – sounding as perfect as she does on recording – there were lapses in the set due to a lot of time spent tuning. Bentham spent one of these moments introducing her band and mentioned that they were playing without their regular keys player who “is called Ted, if you’re interested.”
After a short interval, Soccer Mommy bounced onto the stage with a big grin and a whole load of energy, starting their set with some old favourites ’Henry’ and ‘Try’ before playing the majority of their debut album, ‘Clean’. It was quite interesting to see how their laidback style transcended to the stage, as it ultimately became a bit more rock. After playing ‘Cool’, Soccer Mommy’s guitarist – who resembles Dustin from Stranger Things – fell to his knees whilst shredding away in the outro. Then the band were sent backstage for a little solo stint from Sophie Alison. “If the boys play good, they get a pee break. If not, they’re fucked.” These little awkward moments of humour are what keeps Soccer Mommy relatable and interesting.
The tone took on a melancholy note and there were noticeably more phones in the air, as Sophie played her cover of ‘I’m On Fire’ by Bruce Springsteen, which was followed by ‘Still Clean’ and a song of the Collection album that was never released, called ‘Alison’. Alluding to the predictability of encores these days, Sophie brought the band back on stage and announced that this was their last song. After the crowd groaned, she laughed and said “Well you can cheer, and then…” And so their pre-encore song was ‘Scorpio Rising’ which had me thinking about all of those times I watched Buffy the Vampire Slayer and wished I was at The Bronze watching really cool bands playing and how Soccer Mommy could’ve been one of them.
Sophie went solo again, for the encore, and controversially played ‘Blossom’ which is a slow tempo heartbreaking song about knowing somebody you love, cannot know you back. After she finished, the crowd were shouting out songs they wanted her to play next, one of which was ‘Wildflowers’ and Sophie laughed “I’ve changed from that tuning. You should’ve asked earlier.” Ending the night in a blue and purple haze of a smoke machine and psychedelic lighting, Sophie sang ‘Waiting For Cars’ and was incredibly thankful to all who came to watch her play.
Words by Tyler Damara Kelly
Photography by Lauren McDermott