Bit of a late purchase this, as I waited until Linfield definitely weren’t playing on the Friday night of the Bank Holiday Weekend before purchasing my ticket, as Ocean Colour Scene rolled into Belfast to perform as part of CHSQ.
Custom House Square isn’t a new venue for Ocean Colour Scene, having performed a free concert there in 2007 (and a few minutes in 2008) as part of Belfast City Council’s celebrations when 2007 turned into 2008.
For me, it was my forth OCS gig, with Mandela Hall in 2010 and The Limelight in 2016 being added to that Custom House Square concert.
Considering that those who were waiting for the band were drenched due to the inclement weather, it would have been nice if they came on at 9pm.
The band are still touring the 20th anniversary of Moseley Shoals, released in 1996.
I’m not a fan of anniversary tours. Just play the hits for crying out loud.
Anyway, this year is the 20th anniversary of the far superior Marchin Already.
Support came from Carl Barat and The Jackals, a side project of Carl Barat from The Libertines. Apart from two songs (Don’t Look Back Into The Sun, Gunja Din), i’m not that arsed about The Libertines, so wasn’t grieving the fact I missed him.
The main support came from The Coral, back after a haitus, best remembered for mid 00s such as Pass It On, In The Morning and Thinking Of You, all well received by the crowd who danced along with complete disregard for how wet they were.
As well as having to wear my coat hood over for most of the gig due to the rain, I also spent most of the gig having to cover my nose due to the sheer number of smelly tramps in attendance.
I go forwards, I go backwards, I go left, I go right. No matter where I went, I was getting cigarette and vape smoke blown in my face. It was a plague. A fucking plague of smelly tramps. That is the only word to describe it.
Seriously Belfast, sort this fucking shit out. It’s not cool.
Having missed their gig at The Limelight last December due to a back injury, Oscar Harrison was back on drums.
That gig in December 2016 wasn’t the first time he had missed an OCS engagement in Belfast.
In October 2001, I met Steve and Damon when they went to the bar I worked in after appearing on The John Daly Show. Alan White from Oasis was filling in on drums and I met him too.
I just thought i’d drop that story in about the time I met half of Ocean Colour Scene and a member of Oasis.
One advantage, or disadvantage, or a band playing an album in full is that you know the order of the setlist when you arrive.
Track 1, The Riverboat Song, with it’s distinctive guitar riff kicked off the show. In a normal show, it would have been saved for the encore.
During the early stages of the show, Simon seemed to be channeling Freddie Mercury, trying to be a showman, even engaging in dad dancing, quite appropriate for the singer of a band derided as “Dad Rock” by their haters.
I’m as shocked as you that there are people who hate Ocean Colour Scene.
He even forgot the words a few times but nobody minded. He was even laughing about it with the crowd.
Even though it was just under nine months since their last visit to Belfast, Simon Fowler told the crowd the band were “Too long away from Belfast”, referring to a near seven year gap between Belfast gigs before that.
After all the songs from Moseley Shoals were completed, we were then treated to non Moseley Shoals hits such as Better Day, Traveller’s Tune, Hundred Mile high City and Profit In Peace.
For the encore, Simon appeared on his own with an acoustic guitar before telling the crowd to “Welcome Carl to the stage”.
I know what you’re thinking, and no, it wasn’t Carl Frampton.
It was Carl Barat, who walked on to stage and flicked a lit cigarette in the direction of the crowd, narrowly missing a Security Guard who was stood with his back to the stage and unaware to move for his own safety. What a dick.
Imagine being in a band with a Professional Junkie who thinks he’s a poet and still being the biggest dick in the band.
They performed a duet of Robin Hood, which then morphed into a cover of Live Forever by Oasis, with Simon declaring “I loved Oasis” before the band finished with a cover of Daytriper by The Beatles, and The Day We Caught The Train.