Ocean Colour Scene + Twang + Reverend & The Makers + The Sherlocks @ Moseley Park, July 15 & 16, 2016

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There was something strange in the neighbourhood: was it the well weathered/feathered Paul Weller peroxide blokes’ barnets and uber lamb-chop side-burns? Was it the occasional Parka soaked in signature electric blue whiffs of two-stroke Lambretta exhaust? Or just maybe the de-mothballed OCS T-shirt target logos that set the Moseley Park birds a twittering ‘Green Onions’? It was twenty years ago they say that Ocean Colour Scene redefined the way that Rock n’ Soul Mod mashed-up Indie nineties music ought to be played. Their shaggy-dog tale (no photographic evidence was ever submitted) of their whirlwind rags to baggy Brit Pop britches often overlooks the twilight years of graft, back of sofa scrounging for loose change and not least the muso inkies (wherefore art thou now?) condescension for OCS having the Brummie nerve not to be from Madchester.

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The NME did at least have the grace to take a verbal knee in the knackers when Steve Craddock explained that his guitar, sporting the slogan, ‘We Kill The NME,’ wasn’t a casual corruption of Woody Guthrie’s famous clarion call — he did literally want to kill the NME for all those years of ‘Ocean Duller Scene’ shite. Simon Fowler and Steve Craddock still represent the remains of the near adolescent Fanatics in the days when internet meant a dodgy fetish for fishing tackle and a mobile was something you hung above the babby’s cot and scared the crap out of them. How things have changed!

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The 15th sold out online within hours and likewise when the 16th was announced soon after – or was it the other way round – whatever. Co-promoter, Dave Travis, claiming that his publicity budget amounted to a stencil and some Letraset fliers that became instantly redundant. It was also some canny logistics to use the infrastructure from the previous week’s Jazz & Funk Festival.

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Like OCS The Twang have a fan base as ferociously loyal as they are voraciously thirsty. All the greats were set-listed and celebrated tonight. You hug or shrug their relentless barrage of Dance infected terrace anthems but their hearts are in the right place – pickled at the bottom of a jug of Jack Daniels laced with Tipton canal toxic waste by the sounds of front man Phil Etheridge’s signature vocal growl. He made an impassioned call for a lot more love and little less hate in the World and made a touching gesture of solidarity with the families grieving in Nice and beyond. Good lad. Shame such sentiments passed by the wankers who soon after lit up flares in the mosh-pit.

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Credit again to Mr. Etheridge to pull the band up sharp and damn said wankers for their dangerous stupidity. (Let’s hope it doesn’t compromise Moseley Folk’s safety licence!) Being the only bright act they’ve ever done in their lives it’s time evolution changed the filters in the gene pool, did the planet a favour and consigned them to the Darwin Awards dustbin of oblivion. Eugenics is an ugly word but they really shouldn’t be allowed to breed. Anyway, The Twang were totally bangin’ before a beautiful sunset.

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Saturday saw OCS kick off with Craddock giving the Day Tripper riff some seriously hi-voltage violence. There was a touching dedication from Foxy Fowler to the recently deceased Paul Murphy to whom he awarded the honorary title of ‘The Fucking Mayor of Moseley!’ How Does it Feel was his caressed dedication with Craddock’s gentle vibrato guitar utterly sublime. The hooting chorus refrain of anti-war/arms trade Profit In Peace was apparently all down to drum avalanche Oscar Harrison’s moment of vision (he’s had others since). And guess who popped back after many a year? The ever-beautiful Torch goddess, P.P. Arnold, to guest on Travellers’ Song. 100 Mile High City closed the evening and Moseley Park indulged in one total collective hug. Set List? Moseley Shoals mate, and some others.

Massive apologies to afternoon openers, The Sherlocks

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and Reverend & The Makers,

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whom by all accounts kicked up a storm. The reviewer got press-ganged in to working at the gate reception.

 

Words: John Kennedy

Photographs: Ian Dunn

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