Ocean Colour Scene @ Birmingham Town Hall – 17th April 2008


After forming in 2004, Twickenham boys Marner Brown are really boosting their career in the music business. Not only have they toured with the likes of The Feeling, Whitesnake, and Babyshambles but are now currently supporting one of the biggest Britpop bands ever; Ocean Colour Scene.

Aesthetically, Marner Brown look incredibly rock ‘n’ roll, which you soon learn to be completely misleading as their music is more like a combination of Led Zeppelin and Supergrass. Indeed these are big bands to compare them to but there is one downfall with their style – they lack choruses that will blow you away. I would go as far as to say that some of their songs are a little samey.

However, overlooking this small problem, they clearly are a good band and seemed to have left a good impression on the audience. If they make a few songs that follow a modern anthem style, they will prove they are a solid band that are able to experiment and with time, they may become legends in their own rights.

Whilst waiting for Ocean Colour Scene to grace us with their appearance, I couldn’t help but notice how grand Birmingham Town Hall is. I realized this was the perfect place for them to play; a fantastic venue for a fantastic band. As this was the first time I’d been in this particular venue, I didn’t know what to expect, apart from a heart stopping performance by OCS, of course. For those of you who have seen them live before, you too would have felt the same excitement in the air all through their set.

First on was vocalist Simon Fowler with the rest of the band following just as confidently. And lets face it, they have a lot to be confident about, they’ve been going for many years and have given us some classics, such as The Riverboat Song, The Day We Caught the Train and The Circle (all of which they, rather predictably, performed).

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After performing a few songs, they proclaim to the audience that they may have noticed a bunch of cameras floating around the hall and then announced that the show will be on a live DVD, which definitely got the audience excited, clapping along like they’ve been brain washed to do so. OCS have some real hardcore fans who put modern bands’ fans to shame – every single song was sung along to by the majority of the audience, who also found it impossible to sit still; tapping feet, clapping hands, nodding heads, you name it, they did it.

Simon even managed to get us all laughing, boasting a rather impressive Scottish accent and joking about the Moseley gyro.

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Never have I seen such a bond between a band and its fans. When a band returns to their place of origin and perform a truly amazing set, it really is something special.

Steve Craddock soon thanks everyone and the band leave relatively quickly.

After a 5 minute wait, everyone chanting “O-C-S O-C-S” and calling out various band members’ names, they return to the stage somewhat heroically and perform one of their most popular songs, The Day We Caught the Train and repeatedly got everyone singing along as loudly as they could to “Ooooh Oh la la”.

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They bow to the audience and Andy Bennett makes his way off stage when Oscar Harrison reminds him of the audience behind, they routinely take a bow to them and are finally off.

Everyone left feeling pleased… and a few others a little drunk.

It was a fantastic night and will not be forgotten, by myself or anyone else!

Review – Georgina Walsh
Photos – Michelle Owen

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