When: February 16th, 2011
Where: The Zoo, Brisbane QLD
Swervedriver remind me of the high school social ladder. Remember when everybody was picking their friends to hang out with and after all is said and done there's the dregs of four or five people to form what inevitably is described as the leftover group? When shoegaze was the prominent genre back in the late 80s/early 90s Swervedriver were that band.
These instances can go one way or the other. With Swervedriver re-forming in 2008 (despite the rumblings that they'd never actually broken up), you can judge which way their fate tilted all those years ago between tap houses in Oxford.
Swervedriver are what I like to call the ultimate driving band. They allude to cars and driving a lot throughout their body of work. Their music has reached a wide demographic of folk over the years. In fact, it'd be fair to say that out of all the shoegaze bands, Swervedriver could well possess the most diverse fanbase. That theory was best applied Wednesday night at the Zoo, as all walks of life seemed to spawn from the woodwork. A remnants of the completely unhip and strugglers of social ladder certainly filled the air, forming one of the most bizarre Brisbane crowds I've ever had the pleasure to share a presence with. This aspect of the night added to the whole awesomeness of the thing. I felt at home, for a change.
Mainman, Adam Franklin, although seemingly a run of the mill type of lad, still shoulders an elusive zeal that is associated with most shoegaze collectives. His side projects (solo albums and Magnetic Morning) aside, he certainly is the superglue of Swervedriver. The tempo of his melodic vocal shifts the music into a dreamy direction while his guitar assaults with an assortment of pedals add to the floating embers that fill the room. Franklin is assisted well, though. The rollicking rhythm section of Jez Hindmarsh and Steve George hold it all together while Jimmy Hartridge adds the necessary sprinkles of tone and harmonics on second guitar, keeping things nice and interesting.
The below setlist speaks for itself. The "been their since day one, me" types were in ecstasy. Okay, so the crusty dude who continually roared "HARRY AND MAGGIE" didn't get his wish, but it didn't stop him from lacing those around him in rum and ice while he was wigging out to 'Never Loose That Feeling' and the brilliant 'Duel'. He enjoyed himself and those around him - despite that rum smell seeping through their cloths - were in some way actually happy that he was happy. That's what Swervedriver brought to the table. An escapism. It was a night where you could leave your worries at the door. Maybe even leave them there on the way out, too. After the day I'd had, it was the perfect combination.
Scrawl and Scream
Girl on a Motorbike
Never Loose That Feeling
Son of Mustang Ford
Kill the Superheroes
Words by Simon K.