Ocean Colour Scene usher in the festive season on Tyneside.

Brit pop legends Ocean Colour Scene are presently on the road across the UK as part of a Christmas tour. Such was the demand for the band’s initial sold-out appearance at the O2 Academy Newcastle, that a second night was added.

Detroit Motown legends, Martha Reeves and the Vandellas kick off the proceedings early in the evening. The Rock and Roll Hall of Famers bring with them in tow a set packed full of soul hits from throughout their extensive career. Reeves performs classics like “Jimmy Mack” and “Nowhere To Run”, whilst simultaneously creating her very own “Heatwave” on Tyneside, which was much needed on this cold December evening.

Martha is joined on stage by two of the original Vandellas – Lois Reeves and Delphine Reeves, who each sound incredible throughout. Reeves closes out the set with the chart-topping Billboard hit “Dancing in the Street”, and by doing so certainly gets tonight’s Christmas party started.

The sounds of Booker T and the MG’s “Green Onions” plays Ocean Colour Scene onto the O2 Academy stage. This being the band’s first visit to Tyneside since their sold out Live From Times Square outdoor summer festival show two years ago.

Tonight the Brummie based outfit walk their fans down memory lane during a set which is packed full of classics, as well as introducing some of their newest material. Early in the set the likes of the unmistakable TFI Friday anthem “The Riverboat Song”, “Profit In Peace”, and a spellbinding airing of “The Circle” transport the band’s fans back to a time when Brit pop music ruled the airwaves in the UK.

The beautiful melody of “Better Day” casts a spell over the O2 Academy Newcastle before lead vocalist Simon Fowler dedicates “Step by Step” to anyone who understands Brexit. The crowd sing wholeheartedly at the tops of their voices throughout, and tonight much like the band, the Geordie choir in attendance are in fine voice.

This evening’s show is very much a family affair, with guitarist Steve Craddock’s son Cassie following in his dad’s footsteps, and doing a great job in the process.

Ocean Colour Scene recently released their first new material in five years in the shape of a four-song EP. Tonight the band take the opportunity to showcase tracks from their all-new eponymous release. This includes the heartfelt ballad “Be With You” and the gritty “Another Bard May Chant”.

The Brit pop legends race to the finish line with crowd pleaser “Travellers Tune” before closing out their main set with a frantic airing of the psychedelic-tinged “Hundred Mile High City”.

Following a brief interlude, Simon Fowler returns to the stage for a solo acoustic rendition of “Robin Hood”, during which he segues a few bars of the Oasis classic “Live Forever”, to great effect. The rest of the band make a return to the stage and close out the show with a spellbinding performance of “It’s A Beautiful Thing” before the show is brought to an explosive conclusion with “The Day We Caught The Train”.

It’s now been over 20 years since the release of Ocean Colour Scene’s seminal album Moseley Shoals, and due to the timeless nature of their discography, each of these songs still sounds as fresh this evening as they did back in the 90s.


Ocean Colour Scene
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Event Date: 10-Dec-2018

About The Author

Adam Kennedy is an experienced music photographer based in northeast England. He has been shooting concerts for several years, predominantly with the band Vintage Trouble. In 2013, he was one of their tour photographers, covering the UK and Ireland tour including the headline shows and as opening act for The Who. As an accomplished concert photographer, Adam's work has been featured in print such as, Classic Rock Blues Magazine, Guitarist Magazine, Blues in Britain magazine, broadcast on the MDA Telethon on ABC Television in the US, used in billboard advertising for Renaissance Hotels in the US, and featured online via music blogs such as Uber Rock and Guitar Planet. He is also the official photographer at Newcastle Rock and Blues Club.

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