Soccer Mommy has had a massive year. Starting with the release of her debut album Clean, they supported fellow Nashvillians Paramore on a full U.S. tour, followed by a headlining tour across Europe and the UK. I was lucky enough to catch Sophie Allison + entourage at Scala in London, where she nourished the hungry crowd with an hour of pure indie-rock goodness with support from the talented London singer Brooke Bentham.
Last Girl and Scorpio Rising off Clean sound huge on stage and older songs like Henry and Try sound just as solid and powerful. Despite Allison’s delicate vocals, the band isn’t overpowering and leaves room for her bittersweet, gloomy lyrics. Soccer Mommy reproduce the songs exactly as on the record plus an extra bit of edge and pizzazz, Allison’s vocals flawlessly clean and blending in perfectly with the sound of her guitar. The band is visibly enjoying themselves and the guitarist dramatically falls on his knees at the end of Cool and completely loses it at the end of the set. The material from Clean still feels fresh but that gives the performance drive and determination, and the crowd is well familiar with it, singing along to Dog and shouting requests for Wildflower when Allison comes back for an encore (although she'd just changed to a different tuning.
An emotional highlight of the evening is when Allison plays I’m On Fire solo. Her vocals completely captivate the crowd, almost holding their breath so as not to miss a second of this intimate moment in which the power and emotion of live music is purely magical. Waiting For Cars is another stand out moment, in between audience banter about her favorite color (purple - apparently…) and compliments about her outrageous 90's style shoes. It’s hard to grasp Allison wrote songs like these in her bedroom at the age of 18, and here she is bringing tears to the eyes of people between 18 and 50. Apparently London got an extra treat when Soccer Mommy plays Blossom (Wasting All My Time) as she doesn’t usually play it live.
Despite the energy that comes with having a band to facilitate a fuller sound, it’s her stripped down solo performance that really shows Soccer Mommy at her best. Lyrics like ‘I was wasting all my time on someone who couldn't love me’ hit hard, only slightly diluted by the tender guitar. This up-close insight into Allison’s psyche and emotions is when Soccer Mommy crosses over into the divine and makes a night of live music all the more rewarding. Soccer Mommy is on the way to explode all across the globe so I highly recommend you catch her on one of the smaller club shows while you still can.