Ocean Colour Scene

Astoria, London
***

Just as we'll supposedly be reading newspapers on mobile phones within the next few years, so electronica will shortly be seeing off guitar bands. As if. The concept of white men thrashing Stratocasters may seem quaint, but the success of Travis and Stereophonics proves that millions still prefer their rock straight up, with a twist of denim. Ocean Colour Scene's five-night stand at the Astoria sold out without even a new release in the shops.

Their allure has its roots in the same fashion-spurning hemisphere as their friend Paul Weller, where it's okay to be sensitive as long as you get your round in. Sensitivity was bottom of the agenda for the beery house, though, which repeatedly erupted in moos of "we are the mods". They say bands get the fans they deserve, but the Oceans seem a bit hard done by, passionately balladeering about Leah Betts (One for the Road) while fans obliviously crowd-surf.

Of course, if you didn't know what Simon Fowler was singing, you'd be justified in taking this simply to be uplifting pub rock. The classic pub configuration - Fowler out front, loping bassist Damon Minchella and blues-influenced guitarist Steve Cradock on either side, drummer Oscar Harrison behind - emphasises their commitment to tradition.

But this kind of thing can be a cathartic release for both band and crowd, and numbers such as The Circle create a real rapport between the wide-eyed Fowler and his people. His hoarse delivery has the stamp of authenticity. He's lived, loved and ended up in the tabloids for it, and brings something of the experience to his performance. At any rate, the fans see him as theirs. Apparently, there are some for whom "dadrock" is more a compliment than an insult.

• Till Saturday. Box office: 0171-434 0403.

Contributor

Caroline Sullivan

The GuardianTramp

Related Content

Article image
Ocean Colour Scene – review

It's an enviable bond Ocean Colour Scene have established with their fans, but an opening 40 minutes of new material is mercilessly dull, writes Malcolm Jack

Malcolm Jack

27, Feb, 2013 @4:34 PM

Article image
CD: Ocean Colour Scene, On the Leyline

(Moseley Shoals)

Jude Rogers

27, Apr, 2007 @10:59 PM

Article image
Ocean Colour Scene: the band whose chief crime was being too normal
Nostalgia aside, 20 years since the release of Moseley Shoals seems an apt time to undo years of undeserved flak and celebrate this hardy indie rock group

Peter Beech

20, Apr, 2016 @2:42 PM

Pop review

Ocean Colour Scene

St George's Hall, Bradford

**

James Griffiths

01, Mar, 2001 @12:00 AM

Why Ocean Colour's Scene's music has become immortal, why a TV Sista act isn't quite what it seems, and why Glasto went retro

This week Caroline Sullivan reveals why Ocean Colour's Scene's music has become immortal, why a TV Sista act isn't quite what it seems, and why Glasto went retro.

Caroline Sullivan

08, Jul, 2003 @2:44 PM

Article image
British Sea Power

As genuinely eccentric as their carefully cultivated image of outward-bound outsiders, British Sea Power draw on musical influences from well off the beaten track.

Will Hodgkinson

28, Apr, 2005 @11:05 PM

Article image
Why Radiohead are rubbish, Justin Timberlake isn't a sex god, and Ocean Colour Scene might be good after all

As Radiohead pick up five NME nominations, Caroline Sullivan reckons it has more to do with their politics than their music. Plus: why Justin Timberlake isn't a sex god, and Ocean Colour Scene might be good after all.

28, Jan, 2004 @6:12 PM

Article image
No 350: The Rivers

New band of the day: Today's new band sound a bit like hyperactive dad-rockers: Ocean Colour Scene after ingesting a few too many Fratellis

Paul Lester

15, Jul, 2008 @2:51 PM

Article image
Family life: My grandfather serving in Flanders, Ocean Colour Scene and homemade chocolate aeroplanes
Readers’ favourite photographs, songs and recipes

11, Apr, 2015 @5:44 AM

Review: Ocean Sea by Alessandro Baricco

Review: Ocean Sea by Alessandro Baricco

James Purdon

02, Aug, 2008 @11:01 PM