I didn't go to a lot of live show when I was young. Until the late 1990s I just wasn't aware enough of what was out there to bother. That changed when I was on a big shoegazing kick in 1998 and decided to head over to Barrymore's to catch one of the scene's heavyweights, Swervdriver on June 3 (tickets were $10 back then). So yes, you can thank the Oxford outfit for the delayed and indirect creation of this here blog. After that show I started going out a couple of times a week and the rest is history. Although the band parted ways not too long after (they were touring behind album No. 4, 99th Dream, at the time), they reconvened for a spot of reunion activity a decade later and decided to get things back together for an album last year. I Wasn't Born To Lose You is now on the streets, and the band has been touring hither and yon behind it as a result. Thus, a good 17 years after that Barrymore's show, the band was back in town at Zaphod's last Tuesday to rock a well-attended house. They've been accompanied on their latest tour by L.A.'s Gateway Drugs, while local shoegazers PINE filled in the opening slot.
The room was on the empty side when they started up, so here's singer Darlene Deschamps telling everyone to move up.
Guitar action! The band has three, this is Tyler Nickel.
More Darlene, and more guitar!
Will handles the low end.
Vocal action! Not sure who guitarist No. 3 is.
Shadowy Holden action!
So, Gateway Drugs; I'd heard a few good things about the band. They play loud psychedelic garage rock and covered the Count 5's Psychotic Reaction near the end of their set. Fun fact: Three of the band are the children of The Knack's bassist, Prescott Niles. Here's Blues Williams, the one non-family member, sporting Ray-Bans and a black leather jacket.
Here's Liv on guitar and vocals.
Brother Noa on guitar ....
Gabe sings a bit!
Noa works the pedals.
More sibling action!
Pedal action finish!
Swervedriver brought a big long set list to the show; they played just about every song a fan could hope for and a few more besides. Zaphod's let them blow past the curfew (for all the difference that might make on a Tuesday). Here's Adam Franklin and bassist Mikey Jones of Supergrass fame.
Grainy action with Jimmy Hartridge!
Adam sings! Adam reminded the crowd that the last time he played Zaphod's he was tossed for being "allegedly drunk" after his set.
Steve George hits!
And that was about it for photos, because I was starting to feel a bit ill.