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Governor Hindmarsh Hotel, Tue 14 Nov.
After missing Adelaide on their 2016 Australian tour, Birmingham’s indie-mod-britpoppers Ocean Colour Scene make their debut tonight with a show at The Gov. There’s a few that get to the venue in time to see hand-picked support act Stillia, and they are not disappointed. The energetic four-piece put on a show that would match many headliners. In a world saturated with tedious outpourings by products of shows like The Voice, Idol and Wherever’s Got Talent, it’s refreshing to see that there’s a reason to be hopeful about the future of music, in St Helens at least.
The four members of Ocean Colour Scene wander out onto the stage, say hello, and kick things off with The Riverboat Song. Simon Fowler, obviously pleased with the size and the enthusiasm of the crowd, wonders if we don’t get out much. In a playful mood, he inquires a little later if anyone was at last night’s Take That concert. The bulk of the audience’s response is unprintable.
The audience sings along vociferously in Lining Your Pockets, an early sign that it will be a decent night. The song Fleeting Mind slows things down a little, allowing some breath to be caught after a strong start.
Steve Cradock’s guitar playing is unsurprisingly inventive and inspired; it’s clear that he loves his job. Not satisfied with being an absolutely brilliant guitarist, he occasionally wanders over to the piano to augment songs like One For The Road and It’s My Shadow. Oscar Harrison’s drums, along with Raymond Meade’s bass, provide the perfect platform, as well as a musical contrast, for Cradock’s guitar and Fowler’s wonderful voice. From somewhere underneath his bucket hat, Harrison adds the odd vocal line and also gets a chance to profess his love for Aston Villa, which is met with approval by some sections of the audience. But not by Fowler, who obviously isn’t a Villa fan.
You’ve Got It Bad, the hypnotic, trippy Get Away, and the band’s take on The Beatles’ Day Tripper liven up the room. Profit In Peace is a song to unite the world, but for tonight The Gov audience will have to do.
The last section of the show features great versions of Traveller’s Tune, the riff-driven frenzy of Hundred Mile High City and hit single The Day We Caught The Train, as well as the sublime Robin Hood (featuring a tiny quote from Oasis’ Live Forever).
Once again, a band has chosen to come to Adelaide and, I suspect, the members of Ocean Colour Scene are happy that they have played at The Gov. Certainly the audience are glad that OCS came, saw and conquered.
Image courtesy of David Robinson