Review: Swervedriver at The Wedgewood Rooms

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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.