Ocean Colour Scene at The Olympia Theatre – Review & Photos
Ocean Colour Scene played the Olympia Theatre tonight, December 4th.
It looks like there’s a lot of trendy Dad’s out tonight. A pilgrimage to see the post Britpop rock and rollers Ocean Colour Scene on a cold December’s eve. Not a cardigan, sock or sandal between them though. It’s all vintage denim and skinny jeans. Ocean Colour Scene are celebrating their twenty fifth anniversary of musical memories this year. It’s clear the unconditional love and loyalty from their fans hasn’t dwindled since day one.
Hitting the audience with “Hundred Mile High City” as an opener, that unmistakable genre defining riff lifts the roof straight of The Olympia. Lilting gently into “Better Day“ from “Marchin’ Already“, a sentimental song of a search for hope, written around characters who were ex A & R men at Fontana records. Subdued yet packaged prettily in sweet layers of melody, Simon Fowler delivers it with hands in pocket humility. Crowd calls of “OCS, OCS, OCS“ between tunes, is indicative of how long Ocean Colour Scene have been in the lives of their listeners. As they belt into “Travellers Tune”. A bluesy flavour from this one. Slightly lonesome guitars echo through the lyrics symbolic of idealistic journeys of discovery blessed with “two Christophers in the snow“. Ironically, or maybe not, the patron saint of travellers.
The set is in two parts. The new stuff is well blended into a list that goes on forever. “Half A Dream Away“ with its laid back and light percussion party populating the atmosphere before “It’s A Beautiful Thing“. A bittersweet and beautiful observation on love. Yet again another volume of pensive lyrics, wrapped in a gentle piano piece. End of part one.
“The Riverboat Song“ is first up after the interval. Another show stopping well known riff from Steve Craddock’s Gibson Les Paul reaching into the audience. “So Low“ dissolves into the air, a charming tale of self delusion and lessons in life. Folky in parts, edged off with guitars a few melancholy chords and words of wisdom. “We laugh and we drink, and we teach ourselves not to think”. You’re not wrong there Simon. “Profit in Peace“ brings those familiar verses, preached by Fowler, “There’s no profit in peace no more”. It sounds simple but it’s actually a deep reflection of a moment in George Orwell’s “1984“. The idea of workers obeying governments to work towards war in order to generate wealth for a few and create suppression for many is commented upon. This song calls for the people to reject this ideology. Heavy stuff but delivered in hand holding harmonies. A more uplifting “This Day Should Last Forever“ follows, light-hearted and lovely. From where I’m standing this night should last forever.
“My Shadow“ and “The Circle“ finish the second half before the encore where “Robin Hood“ and the anthem of a generation “The Day We Caught The Train“ finish the set. After twenty five years together, OCS and their fans are still very much in love. Tonight they delivered moments in time of retro Britpop musical memories. OCS, you rocked it out! You haven’t changed a bit!
Review by Ciara Sheahan
Photos by David Doyle