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OCEAN COLOUR SCENE
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THE MOONS
www.myspace.com/themoonsofficial
Sole support act on Ocean Colour Scene's current tour are The Moons, who take to the stage at 8pm for a short half hour set of what can best be described as psychedelic indie with mild ska leanings (audible overtones of The Specials) and retro-rock foundations la The Beatles, The Who, The Small Faces, The Kinks et al. Performing to a half full venue, which begins to fill up as their set progresses, the audience are largely motionless throughout, as generally are the band in their collective performance. That said, they do seem to relax a little after the first 2-3 numbers and start to move to the retro flavours inherent in their tunes. A nice touch are the projections either side of the stage which show video footage of the band out and about in Lincoln, I guess which would have been filmed earlier, or on the tour's off-day yesterday. The Moons are tight live act and with an array of infectiously catchy songs could well rise to prominence with the correct exposure. Already, I understand, with the backing and commendation of one Paul Weller, they are well on their way.
DATE:
VENUE:
Tuesday 2nd March 2010
The Engine Shed in Lincoln, UK
OCEAN COLOUR SCENE
www.oceancolourscene.com
Perpetually described by the media as 'Britpop', I've always found such a term a little insufficient and misleading in describing Ocean Colour Scene's music which has always been far above your average Britpop act in terms of both quality and depth in songwriting. Releasing ninth studio album, 'Saturday', last month, the Brummie crew's erstwhile major success seems to have eluded them over the past few years although this is only in a relative sense as their current lengthy 26 date UK tour performing mainly in 1500 - 2000 capacity venues is a definite measure the band remain a popular act in 2010. Tonight's show is in Lincoln's Engine Shed and, by the time OCS appear onstage at 9pm, the venue is rammed with eager fans, young and old, in what must be a near sold out gig. Greeted by rapturous cheers, the five musicians open with 'Mrs Maylie' from said new release which marks the beginning of an hour and three quarters set that incorporates songs drawn from their substantial back catalogue of material, mixing the old with the new to please new and established fans alike. Also from the latest album, we're treated to tightly performed renditions of 'Sing Children Sing'; 'Magic Carpet Days'; 'Rockfield'; as well as the title track., which sit comfortably alongside older material like 'The Circle'; 'One for the Road'; 'Policemen and Pirates'; 'Travellers Tune'; 'Profit in Peace'; 'Fleeting Mind'; and 'Go To Sea'. Every song, old or new, receives the same enthusiastic audience reaction, and the band reciprocate with a lively performance. Frontman Simon Fowler is in perfect pitch with a strong vocal performance, and his declaration that Lincoln is one of his favourite places to visit engenders perhaps the largest cheers of the evening from what must be a predominantly local audience. Generally with a fine sound and mix through the PA during their entire set, I am perhaps most impressed by sticksman Oscar Harrison's drum sonance - one of the best I've heard at a gig in recent years, with his inventive and powerful beats resonating poundingly throughout the Engine Shed; a solid backbone for OCS's melodically compelling output. Ending their pre-encore set with the up-tempo, perennial fan favourite, '100 Mile High City' (which sounds rather awesome in its live guise this evening), the band temporarily exit the stage only for Fowler to return by himself, equipped with electro-acoustic guitar, to play 'Robin Hood', before the remainder of OCS reappear for two final songs - 'The Riverboat Song' and 'The Day We Caught The Train' - with the latter prompting the night's biggest sing-a-long and largest amount of beer to be hurled through the air (surprising considering the bar's extortionate prices!). A fine performance from a veteran UK band, Ocean Colour Scene remain, at least musically, at the top of their game in 2010.
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THE MOONS
Reviews & Photography by Mark Holmes
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