Review: Jack Foley
FROM humble beginnings, in 1988, Ocean Colour Scene literally
exploded onto the scene in the early Nineties as part of the Britpop/Ladrock
scene, courtesy of anthems such as The Day We Caught The Train
and Riverboat Song.
Fifteen years on, they have finally got round to releasing a
live album, recorded at festivals in England, Scotland and Ireland
in the summer of 2004.
And it serves as a timely reminder of what a good band they can
be, especially when delivering the sort of anthem that helped
to make their name.
There's no denying that One For The Road is for the
purists only, but it's a refreshing way of delivering a Greatest
Hits compilation, and, thanks to the quality of the live performances,
sounds almost as crisp as any studio-produced album they might
have put out in its place.
Highlights, of course, include the well-known singles, particularly
as several of them include guitar solos and experiments that you
won't find on albums, as well as crowd favourites, such as Profit
in Peace, which will probably have you singing along with
it (just as the crowd do).
On the down side, putting so many tracks together does make one
realise just how similar they all sound, which means the band
hasn't really been one to experiment with its musical style down
But then Simon Fowler's vocal style is so distinctive (in a Paul
Weller, old-school kind of way), that it's difficult to escape
the Ocean Colour Scene sound.
But fans won't be interested in such criticisms, particularly
as this is more of a love-letter to them, than any serious attempt
to reach out and find new listeners.
Paul Weller once proclaimed that Ocean Colour Scene are 'keeping
the flame of real rock and roll alive and burning' - and it's
easy to see why he came to that conclusion while listening.
For, as Fowler himself states: "The live performance is
an amazing experience; the adrenalin and the rush from performing
in front of a crowd is incredible.
"It's in our veins, it's very special when you perform live,
it’s a natural reflex reaction, it's like when you breathe
it comes as second nature, you just don’t think about it
but enjoy the experience."
I'm also certain that Ocean Colour Scene fans will agree.
1. Riverboat Song
2. You've Got It Bad
3. The Circle
4. Oh Collector
5. Golden Gate Bridge
6. I Just Need Myself
7. Wham Bam Thank You Mam
8. North Atlantic Drift
9. This Day Should Last Forever
10. Mechanical Wonder
11. I Love You
12. Foxy Folk Face
13. Travellers Tune
14. Profit In Peace
15. It's My Shadow
16. One For The Road
17. Hundred Mile High City
18. The Day We Caught The Train
19. Robin Hood