Ocean Colour Scene have from time to time been labelled as ‘middle of the road’ but there is utterly no way you could see this band live and still share that view. Laura Bradley writes and photographs.

Ocean Colour Scene @ Shepherds Bush Empire by Laura Bradley. (Laura Bradley)

Ocean Colour Scene @ Shepherds Bush Empire by Laura Bradley. (Laura Bradley)

The evening was split into two, one hour sets, the first including Marchin’ Already tracks, which was the album to knock Oasis off the top spot in the UK albums chart in 1997. The second set was then dedicated for the Hits, although you’d struggle to distinguish which songs weren’t considered great.

Ocean Colour Scene @ Shepherds Bush Empire by Laura Bradley. (Laura Bradley)

Ocean Colour Scene @ Shepherds Bush Empire by Laura Bradley. (Laura Bradley)

Kicking the evening off with Hundred Mile High, Better Day and Travellers Tune, although Fowler appeared immensely introverted on stage, he soon started to ooze with emotion and before your eyes, he appeared to beautifully loose himself within the music. As the evening went on, Fowler began to ease and expose his character, showing of his Mick Jagger style dance moves in Half A Dream Away.

Ocean Colour Scene @ Shepherds Bush Empire by Laura Bradley. (Laura Bradley)

Ocean Colour Scene @ Shepherds Bush Empire by Laura Bradley. (Laura Bradley)

Fowler dedicated Foxy’s Folk Face to Tom Daley, “This one I want to dedicate to Tom Daley, and his swimming shorts” having experienced similar pressures regarding his own sexuality in 1998.

Ocean Colour Scene @ Shepherds Bush Empire by Laura Bradley. (Laura Bradley)

Ocean Colour Scene @ Shepherds Bush Empire by Laura Bradley. (Laura Bradley)

The evening was a raw, profound and flawless masterpiece in how powerful music can be. From Fowler’s voice cracking with emotion during Robin Hood, bringing not just himself, but the entire house to tears. Coupled with Steve Cradock’s stunning guitar solos had the audience loose themselves in a realm of self reflection and sheer appreciation.

Ocean Colour Scene @ Shepherds Bush Empire by Laura Bradley. (Laura Bradley)

Ocean Colour Scene @ Shepherds Bush Empire by Laura Bradley. (Laura Bradley)

The set also included Day We Caught The Train, Profit of Peace, So Low, and It’s A Beautiful Thing, along with countless other great tunes. The audience belted every word, to every song, even once the crowd unwillingly walked out of the Bush Empire doors, there was continued singing on the tubes and trains.

Ocean Colour Scene @ Shepherds Bush Empire by Laura Bradley. (Laura Bradley)

Ocean Colour Scene @ Shepherds Bush Empire by Laura Bradley. (Laura Bradley)

Ocean Colour Scene deserve to be held with the same regard as classic British bands such as The Beatles, and The Rolling Stones on stage presence and energy alone so if You get a chance to see them, buy two nights worth of tickets, because I guarantee You will want to go again.

Whether its their 1st show, or 120th show, the quality and energy only exceeds the last. In the words of OCS, It was a beautiful thing… a terrible thing it had to end.
Laura Bradley reviewed and photographed. 12th December 2013.