ONE of Oxford’s biggest bands of the 1990s is returning to the city 10 years after they broke up.

Swervedriver, formed by guitarists Adam Franklin and Jimmy Hartridge from Wheatley, were a leading band in what was known as the ‘shoe-gaze' independent rock scene.

They enjoyed commercial success with a string of singles and four albums and attracted a strong global following – particularly in the US.

The band broke up in 1999 after a farewell concert in Australia.

But on Thursday, the reformed outfit will return to the city that inspired much of their work for a show at the O2 Academy, in Cowley Road.

The concert will take place 11 years after their last Oxford show – at the same venue, then known as the Zodiac.

Mr Franklin, 43, said: “It’s going to be truly great playing a show in Oxford again after all this time.

“This is where the first Swervedriver songs were written – just off the Cowley Road and just around the corner from the venue – so it’s going to be pretty smokin’ on the night.

“It’s going to be a lot of fun, and it’s brilliant for people that didn’t get to see us back in the day. We’re going to rock their ears.”

At their peak, Swervedriver were signed to Alan McGee’s Creation Records – also the home of Oasis and Oxford rock band Ride. Among fans of the band and its previous incarnation Shake Appeal, were members of fellow Wheatley band Supergrass and Oxford’s Radiohead.

Mr Franklin said: “We were big in the 90s.

“We worked in America a lot but ground to a halt in 1999.”

He added: “It just felt like the end, so we downed tools and ran out of steam.

“A general malaise had set in and we were going a bit mad.”

He has spent the intervening years working on a string of solo projects and musical collaborations.

The reunion follows the reformation of another cult Oxford band, the Candyskins, who played a show to mark the closing of the Zodiac and also appeared at this summer’s Truck Festival, in Steventon.

Mr Franklin said: “It may be more than 10 years since we were last here, but Oxford hasn’t changed. It still has that same positive vibe, and this is still a city where people are happy to be.

“We hope people come along and see us this week – because there may not be another chance.”

Fan Simon Husband, from Cutteslowe, in Oxford, said: “This is going to be a historic show.

“Swervedriver were one of the best bands of the 90s, and it’s fantastic that they’re back together.”

l Swervedriver play the O2 Academy on Thursday.

Tickets cost £14 in advance and doors open at 7pm