Ocean Colour Scene – live review

25 Jan

Twenty years on from the giddy heights of Britpop, a lot of middle-aged men and women would (to use the lingo of the times) be mad for an Oasis reunion. The Gallagher brothers don’t seem minded to reunite, but never fear: Ocean Colour Scene are here to help you sing along like it’s 1996 all over again.

Beginning with the roaring Zeppelinesque riffology of The Riverboat Song and the Beatlesisms of The Day We Caught The Train, the Brummie boys performed their 20-year-old retro classic Moseley Shoals in full. It’s an album of many whoa-whoas and la-la-las, and the crowd sang along lustily with every single one of them.

The album-in-full format is great for nostalgic audiences, although it felt like a bit of a straitjacket for the band, who put out new music as recently as 2013. Only on tumultuous, moody closer Get Away did sharp-dressed guitarist Steve Cradock really let rip.

Shielded for the most part behind an acoustic guitar, singer Simon Fowler, sporting waistcoat and specs, initially had the air of a retiring university lecturer who looked mildly surprised to see that so many students had turned up to hear him. He bantered a bit between songs but the enthusiastic din meant most of what he said was inaudible.

After a short break, the band returned to play a further set of fan favourites, including anti-war hymn Profit In Peace. Performing Robin Hood solo, Fowler threw in a snatch of Live Forever – so there was a bit of Oasis after all.

Published in Metro, 25 January 2016

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