Its twenty years since Britpop, which was probably the last great musical onslaught Britain or any other nation will unleash on the world, exploded as a scene. Oasis, Blur and their like may well be gone but one band Ocean Colour Scene who formed back in Birmingham in 1989 proved tonight that part of that movement is still alive and kicking.
Perth isn’t exactly well known for its glorious turnouts for gigs but promoters MJR Presents hit the nail right on the head tonight with OCEAN COLOUR SCENE at The Capitol. The place was rammed to the rafters and not only that there was an air thick of ex-pat accents from Birmingham to Scotland, Ireland and everywhere in between.
2016 saw the 20th anniversary of OCEAN COLOUR SCENE’s most loved and most successful album ‘Moseley Shoals’ and tonight we got it all and in order, with a heap of other hits thrown in for good measure.
Without an opening band a DJ belted out plenty of Brit tunes to get the partisan crowd fired up and by the time he left the stage Capitol was as full as it could be. On a hot day in Perth the air-conditioning seemed to have all but given up the ghost as the beers went down and the crowd pressed against the stage.
OCEAN COLOUR SCENE in truth were always the most interesting of the Brit Pop bands, predating the movement and having far more to say than most of their contemporaries. Tonight no time is wasted and we kick straight into ‘Moseley Shoals’ with “The Riverboat Song”, it’s immediately obvious that Steve Cradock and the boys have lost nothing at all, starting off with arguably their biggest number the crowd is in immediate ecstasy.
It is glorious Indie rock and roll and if the rest of the album that follows has its lulls as a piece of music the entire room is singing and dancing along. ‘The Day We Caught the Train’ immediately drops the tempo but doesn’t deplete the crowd’s enthusiasm as they know exactly what is to come.
The evening doesn’t falter at all, whether it’s the volume of the crowd singing along to the harder numbers or the exceptional slower numbers like ‘Lining Your Pockets’ it’s as interesting for the reviewer to see the love on the faces in the crowd sometimes that gaze to the stage where the magic is happening.
The album draws to the close with the rocker ‘You’ve Got It Bad’ and al-singing all-dancing ‘Get Away’ and if the night had ended there everyone would have left happy. As it is though there’s a lot more in store primarily from the 1997 album ‘Marchin’ Already’ and a couple from 1999’s ‘One From the Modern’ – it’s kind of a surprise that there’s nothing at all from the band’s six album post 2000 output but really with the nostalgia-trip in full swing no one cares.
Right after the final notes of ‘Moseley Shoals’, singer Simon Fowler plugs in the acoustic for ‘Foxy’s Folk Faced’, the second half of the night takes the pace down with a ballad-infused set highlighted by ‘Profit In Peace’. It’s the rockier ‘Travellers Tune’ though which closes the set proper with a bang.
For desert we get the acoustic ‘Robin Hood’ (which I always presumed was named after the club I Bilson) and the final word – one of their very best – ‘Hundred Mile High City’, a huge, fast, behemoth of a song that assaults the eardrums and leaves the crowd smiling and knowing they’ve been at a rock concert… Perth went home happy.
SETLIST: The Riverboat Song | The Day We Caught The Train | The Circle | Lining Your Pockets | Fleeting Mind | 40 Past Midnight |One For The Road | It’s My Shadow | Policemen and Pirates | The Downstream | You’ve Got It Bad | Get Away | Foxy’s Folk Faced | Better Day | Profit In Peace | I Wanna Stay Alive With You | So Low | Get Blown Away | Travellers Tune | ENCORE: Robin Hood | 100 Mile High City
Photos by The Buffman