Long time Ride fan Marc Evans is more than delighted by a triumphant homecoming by the Oxford indie-rockers

Oh my, what a glorious homecoming it was for Mark Gardener, Andy Bell, Steve Queralt and Loz Colbert. A joyful and triumphant moment for the faithful who had tracked down their old Ride T-shirts and Breton tops for a gig that truly felt like an ‘event’.

The boys from Ride, one of the best-loved bands this city has ever produced, were back on home turf. But this was no nostalgia-fest for the 1990s indie darlings. Tracks from their superb new album Weather Diaries were placed front and centre in a set that was nothing short of blistering.

Starting slowly and moodily with the atmospheric White Sands, we were soon into ear-melting territory with the rousing Lannoy Point, followed by the anthemic Charm Assault.

The twee ‘shoegazing’ label which Ride have always carried around never seemed less accurate than on the New Theatre stage. Their trademark delicate vocals, harmonies and beautiful melodies were there in abundance, but the thing that stole the show was the sheer ferocity of the guitars. White noise that Sonic Youth in their heyday would have been proud of.

During Drive Blind they treated fans to what has now become their trademark 10-minute digression into feedback, distortion and effects which just builds with intensity, before finally returning to the song in a moment of almighty release.

Old favourites from their early EPs and first two albums – including a particularly poignant version of OX4, as well as Taste, Vapour Trail, Like a Daydream and the haunting Unfamiliar – made sure everyone left happy. But the new material, especially All I Want, proved that there is far more to them than just greatest hits. They played nothing from Carnival of Light or Tarantula – not even Black Nite Crash, which you could argue is the best thing they’ve ever recorded. Oh, to have the luxury of that back catalogue.

Bell dedicated Dreams Burn Down to his mum and the memory of her listening to it while driving down Headington Hill, before the final encore heralded the arrival of Chelsea Girl – their debut single and the moment the world outside the OX postcode started to take notice.

Welcome back lads...just don’t leave it so long next time.