LIVE REVIEW: OCEAN COLOUR SCENE – Perth, 26 Feb, 2016
Capitol, Perth, Western Australia
Reviewed by Shane Pinnegar
Photography by Maree King
From verse one of 1996’s The Riverboat Song, you’d think that Steve Marriot was reborn and delivering a revivalist rock n’ roll sermon, such is the evangelical fervour the sold-out crowd bestows upon Birmingham’s Ocean Colour Scene: hands are held aloft and it’s a communal singalong.
No, it’s more than that: it’s an experience. A journey back to another time and for many here, another country, another society, another life. Like the band, most of the crowd were a bit wider around the waistline, a bit less thick of hair, and bit more jaded than when they first heard the breakthrough Moseley Shoals album.
The band promised a run-through of that album on its twentieth anniversary for their first Australian tour, and that’s exactly what they delivered: the entire track list in original order. As The Day We Caught The Train, The Circle, Lining Your Pockets, Fleeting Mind and the rest come and go, one thing is constant: the crowd reaction – all singing, all cheering, all immersing in the nostalgic love-fest.
Whether it was the scratchy psych guitar of Policemen and Pirates, the country Brummy twang of The Downstream or the George Harrisonesque You’ve Got It Bad, they lapped up every note, before the album closed with Get Away, a mini-Tommy-styled epic that throbs and grooves as Steve Craddock’s excellent guitar ducks and dives to the track’s divine climax.
The rest of the set was rounded out predominantly with tracks from Moseley’s follow-up, Marchin’ Already. Better Day was a beautiful revelation, Profit In Peace’s “we don’t wanna fight no more” chorus more resembled a football arena chant in the packed room, and the crowd as one raised their glasses when Simon Fowler introduces So Low with, “we’re gonna play a drinking song if that’s okay.”
Fowler started the encore with just his vocals and an acoustic guitar for Robin Hood, before segueing it into a snippet of Oasis themselves – raising the question that, with this sort of fervent crowd adulation, why weren’t OCS as big as the Gallagher brothers?
The night had to draw to an end eventually, and there was little doubt that they’d go out on a high with the Thin Lizzy-like 100 Mile City, leaving the throng – sweaty, beer soaked and hoarse from all the shouting and singing – to wander off in ones and twos and threes, glowing with the knowledge that they’d experienced something very special indeed.
The Riverboat Song
The Day We Caught The Train
Lining Your Pockets
40 Past Midnight
One For The Road
It’s My Shadow
Policemen and Pirates
You’ve Got It Bad
Foxy’s Folk Faced
Profit In Peace
I Wanna Stay Alive With You
Get Blown Away
100 Mile High City
About the Author: Editor, 100% ROCK MAGAZINE