I t’s been a long time since We are the Ocean were last in Birmingham and with the departure of Dan Brown and a brand new album under their belts all eyes are on the band tonight as they prove beyond doubt that they still are one of the best British bands to come out in recent years. But before we get to them we have two very contrasting support acts. Up first are Great Cynics, the indie-pop-punk trio from East London have an uphill struggle but their songs sound great and as the room continues to fill, the crowd start to react better to the bands upbeat performance, I for one really enjoyed them.
Up next are Essex boys Giants; this 10-legged monster turned up the volume and the intensity tenfold; enticing circle pits as their blend of hardcore battered the Birmingham crowd. Giants aren’t exactly rewriting the rulebook but they do what they do well and the crowd, after some encouragement from the front man, lap it up.
To say all eyes are on We Are The Ocean tonight is an understatement, this is their first tour as a four piece and everyone is eager to know how they’ll fare without their original front man Dan Brown. It’s the last date on the UK leg and WATO are determined to go out with a bang, and boy do they do just that! Opening with ‘Machine’, newly appointed front man Liam Cromby certainly seems in his element. They may only be playing a 300 capacity room but the bands attitude and swagger is more akin to a headline festival appearance as they smash out hit after hit. Liam interacts with the crowd like a seasoned pro and even the older tracks like ‘Nothing Good Has Happened Yet’ have been reworked with guitarist Alfie providing backing vocals. The dynamics of the band may have changed but they have certainly taken it in their stride, mixing the older tracks with the new seamlessly.
They slow things down for the big sing along track ‘Confessions’, Liam belts it out and the crowd joins in, singing along to every word. Guest vocals from Giant’s front man make it that little bit more special. Closing with ‘The Waiting Room’ and with Alfie doing a spot of stage diving WATO have shone tonight and silenced any doubts on their ability to perform without Dan. The energy, confidence and passion is evident and the looks on the bands faces don’t lie, they had fun tonight leaving the stage with smiles plastered on their faces and the crowd enjoyed every last minute too.
WATO have been ‘the next big thing’ for a couple of years now but with the demise of huge rock bands like Thrice this could be their time to shine. On the back of performances like this they well and truly deserve it.
These Days, I Have Nothing
Overtime Is A Crime
All of This Has to End
Chin Up, Son
The Road (Run For Miles)
Now and Then
What It Feels Like
Nothing Good Has Happened Yet
The Waiting Room
Review: Hannah Sebestjanowicz