And they’ve still got that sound. If there is a shoegazing chord – and rest assured there is: an open-ended, half-lazy, half-blissed out clang of a chord fed through a Jodrell Bank of effects pedals – then Swervedriver always knew how to add a malevolent edge to it. And there it is, shot right through the bit in “Sandblasted” when they crank it down a gear and unleash a torrent of magnificent, snarling noise.
Their set is something of an anthology as early singles like ‘Sandblasted’ rub shoulders impeccably with later material such as ’99th Dream’. Nevertheless, it’s the songs they dig out from 1993’s ‘Mezcal Head’ era that seem to go down most vigorously with tonight’s audience. ‘Duel’ is breathtaking, ‘Blowin’ Cool’ incisive and ‘Duress’ a more than rightful claim to being one of the prototypes of this decade’s post-rock phenomenon.
‘Duel’ really unleashes the crowd, and as the set progresses to the classic ‘Rave Down’, met with rapturous applause and a mini mosh-pit, fusing into ‘Son Of A Mustang Ford’, Swervedriver’s return has been just as good as they were in their early days, the songs are still strong, still resonant, and the world still wants to see them play