Walking down the road towards Moseley Park on a sunny Friday evening, all I could see was people with that trademark mod haircut who were heading in the same direction as me. I could easily have been back in 1996, except for the fact that a lot of those guys are packing a few extra pounds these days!
There was an excitement in the air, fuelled by sunshine and alcohol and the prospect of seeing one of the bands we identify most with 90s Britpop, Ocean Colour Scene, as they perform for the 20th anniversary for possibly their most popular album, “Moseley Shoals”.
At 8.45pm we no longer needed to wait, and out sauntered the band in front of a crowd who were, quite frankly, ecstatic to see them.
OCS burst straight into a cracking start with “The Riverboat Song”, “The Day We Caught the Train” and “The Circle”. The crowd are in full voice and they don’t give up for the entire gig. The band respond to this in kind and launch wholeheartedly into belters such as “40 Past Midnight”, “Policemen and Pirates” and my personal favourite “Profit in Peace”.
It was such a pleasure to finally see OCS in action – shamefully, and despite the fact that their music made up part of the soundtrack to my late teens, I had never seen them live before. Even more fortunately for me, my first experience of them live was one where I was also able to take photos from the closest possible spot – it couldn’t get any more perfect!
Musically, OCS were unerring in their delivery. Cradock is still one of the best guitarists around – absolutely mesmerising to listen to and to watch. Oscar Harrison oozes cool from every pore, and with every drum beat. New bassist Raymond Meade took the whole evening in his stride and really proved himself as a good fit in this well established band. Good work, that man. Simon Fowler is exactly the frontman I expected; smiley towards everyone around him, note perfect and revelling in the crowd’s reaction.
Finishing off with the quintessential and suitably flawless “Hundred Mile High City”, Ocean Colour Scene gave us the perfect end to a week in a beautiful and meaningful venue. That was a night I won’t be forgetting in a hurry. Thank you, guys.
The Riverboat Song
The Day We Caught the Train
Lining Your Pockets
40 Past Midnight
One For the Road
It’s My Shadow
Policemen & Pirates
You’ve Got it Bad
Robin Hood / Live Forever
Profit in Peace
Get Blown Away
Travellers Tune (with PP Arnold)
Hundred Mile High City