Ocean Colour Scene: Saturday (Keep on Keeping On)

 |   |  1 min read

Ocean Colour Scene: Rockfield
Ocean Colour Scene: Saturday (Keep on Keeping On)

Despite being one of the most exciting and interesting bands of the Britpop Nineties -– singer Simon Fowler had a rough and soulful voice, guitarist Steve Cradock a member of Paul Weller's touring band –- this outfit from Birmingham never really took hold in New Zealand.

On their home turf they had Weller as a vocal supporter, opened for Oasis and scored five top 10 albums, the best being Moseley Shoals in '96.

Never too late to discover them of course, but despite some fine moments this patchy album isn't the way in.

It opens well with the Anglofolk-rock of 100 Floors of Perception which recalls a meltdown of the Who and Small Faces with some psychedelic guitar colouring . . . but those references also alert you to how many there are on this album.

Mrs Maylie is a bristling Faces-type rocker with a whimsical late Sixties middle section (the Move?); Saturday is a terrific pop single, or it would have been in the Seventies; Sing Children Sing looks back to dark folk-rock of the late Sixties (“don't you know about the sandman . . .”); other songs recall a Who rock-opera, Mott the Hoople, the Kinks . . .

For all its impressive embellishments (strings, Stones-like piano, guitar pyrotechnics), the mostly upbeat mood and some standouts (that opener, Magic Carpet Days), this doesn't hang together and lyrically is often clumsy, cliched or juvenile . . . notably the laboured rhymes on the Floyd-like folksy Village Life, and the hippie anthemic What's Mine is Yours which, although Lennonesque, is something he would never approached even when his most out of it.

Too much here feels undercooked (Rockfield's weakness is disguised by strings and a Baba O'Reilly undercurrent) and although some have suggested this is OCS's return to form it sounds – the rocking firepower aside – more like returns to other people's forms.

There is an interview in Birmingham with Ocean Colour Scene captured at their Britrock peak in 1996 here.


Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   Music articles index

Whirimako Black/Richard Nunns: Te More (Rattle)

Whirimako Black/Richard Nunns: Te More (Rattle)

This gentle, hypnotic and spiritual album seems a natural consequence of all that has gone before from these two artists: Whirimako Black's moving songs in te reo (especially her exceptional Kura... > Read more

The Coral: Butterfly House (Shock)

The Coral: Butterfly House (Shock)

Sometimes sounding like an odd collision in the studio of early Echo and the Bunnymen and America, Liverpool's the Coral here deliver their big songs (big on melody, choruses, drama and references)... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia: Live it like a local

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia: Live it like a local

The view across Kuala Lumpur at sunset from here – 35 storeys up – is spectacular. Over there, glistening gold in the last sun-flecked flickers of this typically humid day, is the... > Read more

THE BARGAIN BUY: The J. Geils Band; Original Album Series (Rhino)

THE BARGAIN BUY: The J. Geils Band; Original Album Series (Rhino)

Way before their mainstream commercial success with songs like Centrefold, the J Geils Band were a highly successful blues-rock outfit with the harmonica of Magic Dick front'n'centre. In the... > Read more