At just 20 years of age, it’s hard to believe that Sophie Allison, a.k.a. Soccer Mommy released her first demos on band camp just five years ago. Having since recorded three studio albums and an assortment of other crowd-funded EPs and singles, Allison and her band sold out Brighton’s 150 capacity venue, The Hope and Ruin, well in advance of their gig there last Wednesday night (March 7), and boy was it a good one.
Playing the same venue only six months previous, Soccer Mommy has since released Clean, a tender, coming of age studio record (read RIOT’s review here). However, the band focused not only on this new material, but played an eclectic mix of tracks from each album, catering to the loyalist fans (who, of all ages, were out in abundance), and also to those who have only recently discovered the band through a series of NME sessions and online interviews.
Opening with a series of upbeat, catchy guitar tracks, Allison breezed her way through ‘Try’, ‘Last Girl’, ‘Inside Out’ and ‘Cool’, some of which have featured on multiple albums and all of which centre around themes of relationships and identity. In contrast, ‘Your Dog’, the lead single from the new album was played with muffled aggression, the opening lyrics “I don’t want to be your f*cking dog // that you drag around” representing a resentment at the powerlessness felt in a relationship.
With the band leaving the stage for a brief period, Allison was left alone to perform “Still Clean” the (almost) title track from her most recent studio album. With it’s gentle guitar strums and delicate note patterns, Allison’s fragile tones fit the track and mood perfectly, causing the audience to silence as she completed a short set of semi-acoustic ballads.
With the penultimate track being “Scorpio Rising”, the crowd’s cheers and calls for an encore began before she had even finished playing the song. Returning to the stage alone, Allison reminisced on her beginnings as a music artist, before finishing with a song that takes her own name, “Allison”. Having just passed teen-hood and already possessing a dedicated fan base, we can only assume Soccer Mommy will become more popular as her journey into self-exploration continues.