Ocean Colour Scene

Ocean Colour Scene

OCS proved that even though they’re getting on a bit, they’re still one of the hardest working bands on the circuit by doing not one, but two sets…

Date: November 27, 2013

Venue: Rock City

You’d be forgiven for thinking that Ocean Colour Scene had packed it all in years ago, yet they defiantly continue to peddle their classic rock sound, evoking hazy memories of endless summers from that Britpop-post-Britpop era.

On this outing, rather than just plod through their greatest hits, OCS have decided to do things a little differently – they play 1997 album Marchin’ Already in its entirety and then play the hits, in, if you like, set 2.

So without a support act, they take up the entire evening, proving they’re still very much a hard-working, hard-rocking band.

Set 1 (the Marchin’ Already set) begins without introduction, with the rapid burst of heart-pumping BPM-baffling, heavy riffing Hundred Mile High City, followed by the Beatlesy ballad Better Day, and the soulful stomp of Travellers’ Tune, creating an opening triumvirate that reeks brilliance.

Marchin’ Already was the must own record of 1997, and the album that knocked Oasis’s Be Here Now off top spot (giving them their only number 1 record).

It’s highlights have already been mentioned, but when played live, the lesser songs become echoic triumphs (Besides Yourself), lost classics (Debris Road) and lolling, forgotten post-Brit-pop nuggets (Tele He’s Not Talking, Foxy’s Folk Faced and album closer It’s A Beautiful Thing).

Elsewhere, Half A Dream Away has a Afro-beat vibe which makes it sound oddly like Vampire Weekend.

The whole set is pinned together by Simon Fowler’s ageless, soulful vocals and Steve Cradock’s guitar prowess.

For those wondering, yes they played Riverboat Song and Day We Caught The Train in their hits set; the former a glorious trip back to 1996, the latter a sing-along classic. But they somehow felt like obligatory add-ons. Marchin’ Already is good enough on its own to carry a gig. The hits could’ve waited for the next tour.

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