Review of Ocean Colour Scene at The Olympia Theatre on February 13th

Review by Oisin Tormey
Photos by Kieran Frost

With the fifteenth anniversary approaching of their Britpop classic ‘Moseley Shoals’ coming up, Ocean Colour Scene came to the academy in support of the deluxe edition release of the album and played it in its entirety along with some extra gems thrown in also. With ‘Play That Funky Music White Boy’ playing in the build-up, the lads took to the stage to rapturous applause. Renowned as a fantastic live band, I couldn’t wait for the beginning. When the familiar sound of ‘The Riverboat Song’ began the night, I could feel it was going to be a good one. The song, filled with as much attitude as the band can capture themselves began a trio of their best known songs with the Beatles-esque ‘The Day We Caught the Train’ performed next. The crowd sing-along was immensely loud, helped by the crowd who seemed to have just landed in from an all-day bender in Dublin after the rugby (some more affected than others).

‘The Circle’ came on next and was the first of many impressive guitar solos by Steve Craddock. Listening to the songs you think the guitar is good but in the flesh you can see how criminally underrated Craddock actually is as a musician. ‘Lining Your Pockets’ takes the tempo down for the first time of the night, and begins a short lull in the set. The album doesn’t work as cohesive live as it does on the cd, with the slower tempo giving many in the crowd a chance to break from bouncing and singing. ‘Fleeting Mind’ keeps it slow, and some of the crowd does seem to be disjointed at the lack of louder tunes flowing through The Olympia.

The song itself furthers the classic rock sound of the night already, and it seems harder to pigeon-hole the band into a genre. By the time ’40 Past Midnight’ kicks in however, the crowd is back grooving around and Simon Fowler strides around the stage with more presence than Jagger. The band is putting on a great show and really enjoying the fact they are playing the album which had them at the peak of their popularity. By the time they’ve got to ‘You’ve Got It Bad’, the band have taken over what they called one of their favourite venues to play, and the crowd are in awe, especially with the fantastic drum solo accompanied by a barrage of strobe lights.

‘Get Away’ finishes only half the story of the night, with the band returning to play a two-encore, ten-song set and ‘Profit in Peace’ the anthem of the second part of the night. The crowd raises the noise levels up again with the band showing that 22 years on since their formation, the band can still perform to the highest standard. The indie classic that is ‘100 Mile High City’ finishes the second encore in a gritty, impressive fashion that Beady Eye should take note at for their upcoming tour. No frills, just what seemed like the end to a gig that was even better than I could have imagined it would be.

The band reappear instead, and finish the night with a tribute to a band who they owe much to their style of by playing ‘Day Tripper’ by The Beatles. The band leave to rapturous and deserved applause from the worse for wear crowd. Perfect bender music though! The band really did put on a show in the Olympia and will hopefully return in the Summer, as they are already lined up to do some festival dates around Europe. If you get the chance, go see. The band have a dedicated fan base, and with a gig that would put many to shame, it’s apparant to see why. They put great energy into the gig and played a mammoth set too.

Any doubts I had at the start of the gig at the beginning faded halfway into the set and left happily knowing I had seen the forgotten greats of the Britpop era.

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 & Pirates
The Downstream
You’ve Got It Bad
Get Away

Magic Carpet Days
Saturday
Get Blown Away
Old Pair Of Jeans
Profit In Peace
Better Day
Travellers Tune
100 Mile High City

Robin Hood
Day Tripper (The Beatles cover)

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