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Firstly the Corn Exchange in Cambridge (where I saw this gig) is a brilliant venue. The ecoustics are brilliant and I was lucky and got brilliant seats. First the back up band came on - Mo Solid Gold - they wern't brilliant, I won't lie, though my friend thought they were good, I thought they were prety average. They have a very different sound, and they distinctivly reminded me of Reef, only not as good. Their lead singer (I'm sorry I don't know his name)is a entertainer, but he just annoyed me and I didn't like his voice. Then came the main feature - the band them selves Ocean Colour Scene. In a word they were brilliant. They started off slowly, starting with 'The Circle' and they played alot of songs off they're new album, Mechanical Wonder (as it was the 'Mechanical Wonder Tour') ad one that caught my ear was 'Up on the Downside' though there were some other great tracks. Towards the end they played some of they're classics such as 'The Day We Caught The Train', 'The Riverboat Song' and '100 Mile High City'. It was brilliant. Even after they'd finished they came out 3 more times. They're great live performers and I will be buying 'Mechanical Wonder' soon. I didn't buy it when it first came out because I was skint. It showed Ocean Coloyr Scene bouncing back after going away for a while, but they've proved they are one of the best British Indie Bands around. If they tour again next year I would seriousy consider going again. This gig was brilliant totally worth the £20 I paid for it.
When Ocean Colour Scene hit the stage there was a lot of cheering and chanting. They started with a couple of new tracks from their forthcoming album 'Mechanical Wonder'. They sounded fairly average and maybe lacklustre but this soon changed when they played their classics. Running through hit after hit, 'The Circle', 'Travellers Tune', 'Better Day', 'Profit in Peace', getting a great response as the crowd were constantly jumping and surging. Steve Craddock was in particularly good form and must have changed guitars about fifteen times, including a few times during a song. When the classic 'The Riverboat Song' (famed for being the TFI Friday tune played when guests enter), was played the crowd went mad and the band seemed to slow the song down almost out of sympathy for the sweat-ridden fans. 'Hundred Mile High City' was truly amazing and the crowd were totally up for it, which fed off on the band's performance. Equally good was the classic 'The Day We Caught The Train'. When the time came for the band to leave the stage there was a constant scream for 'more' and 'O...C...S'. As expected the band came back on for an encore. Well actually only Simon Fowler came back on and asked what the crowd wanted to hear. A resounding 'Robin Hood' drowning out all but a few other calls for songs was heard. 'Robin Hood it is then' was the reply and the acoustic number went down a treat at a point where the crowd were truly knackered. The rest of the band came back on and they played another Moseley shoals classic 'Get Away'. Steve's guitar work on this track is probably his most defining and his feedback control was great to watch. The band left the stage gain and came back on to play a 'Small Faces' cover, which was real class and a great way to finish. It was a truly solid performance from a band that are nowhere near as popular or successful as they used to be. The new songs were the only real disappointment as only a couple out of the five or six they played were absolute class. Notwithstanding this they performed brilliantly in front of a passionate crowd and deserve all the success they achieve.
Ocean Colour Scene rocked the Brixton Academy and left us in no doubt that they are still one of the best live bands around. The audience were treated to an hour and a half of excellence from four brilliant musicians who never put a foot wrong. The set included some new material but it was their classics which had the crowd in raptures. Infact during 'The Day We Caught The Train' the audience were singing so loud that you could hardly hear Steve Cradock's vocals. I have now seen Ocean Colour Scene four times including Wembley, Shepherd's Bush and The Astoria. Everytime they have been superb and the Brixton gig has been the best mainly because of the venue and the atmosphere. If you ever have the opportunity to see Ocean Colour Scene live then do not miss it. I have been to hundreds of gigs and I do not give my recommendations lightly.