Photos by Ben Taylor-Vivian
September has certainly been landmark month for Australian shoegaze fans. Earlier this month we were treated to Ride’s first shows here in over 25 years, and the mighty Swervedriver just wrapped up their 2019 Australian tour with a blistering display at the Rosemount on Sunday night.
Locals Ursula opened up the night and entertained those who turned up early with a set of melodic indie rock tunes. Drawing at times on the Pixies soft/loud formula, songs like current singles, ‘I Don’t Mind’ and ‘Ambulance’ off their EP drew a pleasing template for the evening.
Mt Mountain then laid down their own trademark brand of hypnotic psych-rock with some pulsating rhythms reminiscent of late 60’s Pink Floyd. Showcasing songs from their most recent album, Golden Rise, their psychedelic wall of keyboards, drones and reverb-drenched vocals had the crowd held sway from the first note.
By the time Swervedriver ripped into ‘Mary Winter’ from their most recent album, Future Ruins, the Rosemount Crowd had swelled considerably. The band always represented the heavier edged sound of the early 90’s shoegaze genre, whilst still retaining the melodic component displayed by many of their peers. Armed with their most recent album Future Ruins, the show was a tour de force display of feedback, charging guitars and dense song arrangements as only they know how to do.
As usual it was guitarist/vocalist Adam Franklin who was the main focal point for the show, his laid back vocal delivery and squalling guitar work were still note perfect, as early rocking versions of ‘Never Lose That Feeling’ and ‘Setting Sun’ showed, the latter song from their comeback album, I Wasn’t Born To Lose You a prime example of a classic ’new’ Swervies song.
“I think the last time we played this song was here in about 1996” said Franklin by way of introducing ’99th Dream’, and it was a treat to hear something from their oft-overlooked final pre-split album included in their set. Much of the focus of the set was certainly on material from the current album, with enough old songs thrown in to appease the die hard fans, however this in no way detracted from the set at all. The more otherworldly title track from the new album sat alongside the instantly recognisable introduction to ‘Last Train To Satansville’ perfectly.
A shortened set due to residential noise restrictions meant that some of the latter portion of their regular repertoire was omitted, but the band still finished off in style with classics like a glorious ‘Deep Seat’ and a huge crowd pleasing ‘Duel’ before ripping through ‘Son Of Mustang Ford’ in demonic fashion to finish off with.
Still loud, still mesmerising, Swervedriver again put on a magnificent display of old and new songs with a fantastic light show to accompany it. Bring them back again soon!