Live Review: Swervedriver, Ulta Material, Kellie Lloyd

27 June 2016 | 3:31 pm | Steve Bell

"A rare band that stand with one foot in the old world and one in the new, and both worlds are worth a visit."

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Going up against State Of Origin in Brisbane is never going to end well, but there's still a healthy crowd on hand early to see local singer-songwriter Kellie Lloyd open proceedings. Hand-picked by the headliners (presumably due to their shared '90s heritage with Lloyd's long-term outfit Screamfeeder), she favours the stark beauty of songs like Foxes Down A Hole and Insect Wings On Ice from her 2012 album Magnetic North, subtle distortion augmenting the deft guitar playing and expressive vocals which mark these requisitely reflective tunes.

Not too long ago two pairs of couples united by shared experience on the local scene merged their bands Do The Robot and Sunshine State into one shoegaze collective called Ultra Material. This new collective vision invokes music that washes over you in a dreamy daze, songs like Artshow from their new debut album Double Date both wistful and immediate as the ethereal vocals of Sarah Deasy float through the room. The Triffid's pristine sound means you can easily hear what each member is doing and their set gives a strong indication of their easy synergy and charm.

There's a sizeable and devoted throng in attendance despite the footy by the time UK veterans Swervedriver kick off the cruisy opening track Autodidact from their recent fifth album I Wasn't Born To Lose You, the band looking visibly excited to be amidst new material after spending much of their second phase revisiting their '90s output. They still give their all to ensuing older tracks like For Seeking Heat and the laidback melodicism of Never Lose That Feeling (both from 1993's Mezcal Head), the snaking guitar lines of frontman Adam Franklin and his founding offsider Jimmy Hartridge interweaving like living entities. They pull out a couple of trump cards with early droner Rave Down and the simply gorgeous These Times, the guitar sound perfect and the current rhythm section of drummer Mikey Jones and bassist Steve George meshing wonderfully behind it all. The assured Franklin remains effortlessly charismatic despite keeping between-song banter to a minimum, and they touch upon each album of their deep canon over the set as they continue with For A Day Like Tomorrow, Sunset, Lone Star and The Birds. The crowd give a huge response to the opening salvo of classic early single Son Of Mustang Ford, the song almost a blueprint for the intelligent, loud rock'n'roll they conjured over the next decade. They finish the set proper with the new album's swirling closer I Wonder?, but an encore is never in doubt and soon restrained new number Everso segues into the driving Last Train To Satansville and the throng erupts again,  that gem bleeding into Duel to end the night in a perfectly fitting guitar wigout delivered with neither venom not histrionics, just a considered showcase of this band's considerable chops. A rare band that stand with one foot in the old world and one in the new, and both worlds are worth a visit.