Review: Ocean Colour Scene at The Olympia TheatreTweet
Review of Ocean Colour Scene at The Olympia Theatre on 17th December 2011
It has become a kind of tradition for Birmingham band, Ocean Colour Scene to grace the stage of the Olympia during the Christmas season, and this year fans that missed out on the original set date (16th December), a second date was added. The band has toured with their most celebrated album Moseley Shoals, playing the entire album.
The audience is in the palm of the seasoned professionals as they played, track-for-track, what is one of the most epitomising albums of the 1990s. The crowd erupted when veteran members Simon Fowler, Steven Cradock, and Oscar Harrison stroll casually on to the stage accompanied by more recent recruits, Dan Sealy and Andy Bennett. The session opened with the well-known anthem ‘The Riverboat song’, simply showing off the skill for which they are best known; live renditions of rock songs that instil passion and joy into the fans watching. It was clear during the opening songs, why this band has maintained popularity throughout the years while many of their counterparts have either faded into obscurity, or disbanded. As they played songs from the 1996 album, it was easy to see that somehow, it seems as though they were born to perform together. There is no tension on the stage, frontman Fowler was enjoying the response from the crowd as he sang songs such as ‘The Circle’ and ‘Lining your pockets’ while lead guitarist Steven Cradock wowed the crowd with his technically brilliant solos and Oscar Harrison did what he does best, deliver rhythm from his drum kit looking effortlessly cool.
It would be unfair to say the entire performance went off without a hitch as Fowler from time to time would fail to hit the high notes, or lose his breath in the middle of a line. Each time Simon Fowler would finish singing a slow song, he would in some way apologise for depressing the audience and the band would proceed into a faster paced song. When the band had finished performing the Moseley Shoals album, they returned to the stage to perform an entirely different set, of all other fan favourites. They performed one song which Fowler did not apologise for its sombre tones; ‘Better Day’ as the evening took a more emotional turn. Fans of the band will know it is a song of personal meaning to the band, and the audience singing along to the powerful lyrics, proved too much for the front man as he shed a few tears, and turned the mic. to the crowd. The second set of songs blew the crowd away and Harrison’s lead the band into ‘Profit in peace’, as has become customary, was enough to send chills down your spine. The band once again left the stage, and Fowler returned solo, to perform a touching rendition of ‘Robin Hood’, followed by a raucous version of ‘Day tripper’, originally covered by OCS and the now defunct Oasis.
Overall the performance was a rollercoaster of emotions; some songs lifted the spirits of the room, while others brought about an air of deep thought and contemplation. It was living proof of why this band are still selling out gigs, almost 20 years since the release of their debut album.