Review: Swervedriver at The Wedgewood Rooms

From left, Phil Shulman, Derek Shulman, Tony Ransley, Kerry Minnear, Ray Shulman at the induction of Gentle Giant into the Guildhall's Wall of Fame

Gentle Giant prove they’re still a huge draw as they’re inducted in to the Guildhall’s Wall of Fame

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Back in the early 1990s – halcyon days, kids, when we still had musical tribes – Swervedriver never really fitted in.

They could sound hazy and shoegazy at times, albeit a lot more muscular than the Rides of this world, but then could be an old-fashioned rock band.

And despite being as English as they come, the description most often employed was one of wide-open American highways, of driving through the desert in a battered car and enjoying the open road.

Fast-forward 20-odd years, now with Supergrass bassist Mick Quinn on board, and the vibe is still there. The guitar noise is at times a whoosh of effects and feedback, and sometimes heavier and rockier. Both modes are a joy.

So you can switch from a soaring, looping piece of blissed-out rock to the more drilled sound of the older records – and when they hit their stride on early-career tracks Son of Mustang Ford and Last Train to Satansville they’re on blinding form; precise, tight, and very very loud.

The track most people know Swervedriver for is Duel, and fittingly it takes pride of place as the final encore. And, just as fittingly, it remains a thing of beauty – it jangles, it rocks, it drives onward. It makes you realise again that those who missed Swervedriver – then or now – missed out.