There’s something very exciting about entering a venue to see a band that has somehow managed to eluded you for the better part of 24 years. That band, a long time favorite of this site, Swervedriver have been back on the grid since returning to action at 2008 after an eight year hiatus. The Oxford U.K. shoegaze titans are just about to wrap up a U.S. tour in support of their first new album in 17 years, I Wasn’t Born To Lose You, released earlier this month and there was no way we were going to squander the opportunity to be present and accounted for.
The band walked on stage to a near sell-out crowd and launched right in to Autodidact, the opening track from their new LP. Flanked by guitarist, Jimmy Hartridge and Mick Quinn (formerly of Supergrass), Adam Franklin led the band through a nearly 2 hour set that featured an effective blend of new material and tracks from the bands early work, including stunning performances of Rave Down, MM Abduction, and Son Of Mustang Ford. As I stepped back to scan the crowd a few times throughout the performance, it was impressive to see the same feverish response to the bands established material as well as the new tracks. This was especially evident during the bands performance of their lead single off I Wasn’t Born To Lose You, Setting Sun.Going into to my first Swevedriver Live experience my expectations were stratospheric, I was potentially setting myself for disappointment, but the band managed to exceed my lofty expectations and deliver one of the most dynamic and exuberant Live shows I’ve seen in recent memory. The night came to an exhilarating close with the one, two punch of Last Train To Satansville and Duel from the bands high water reaching, 1993 LP, Mezcal Head. Well worth the 24 year wait.
Los Angeles outfit, Gateway Drugs delivered a strong performance of engaging and inspired psych pop with a liberal dose of guitar fuzz that seemed to resonate with the early arrivals.
Photo courtesy of LA Record, due to ours coming out like rubbish.