I IN THE PARK
With a fourth album scheduled for release in September, OCEAN COLOUR SCENE look set to hit the top of the charts again. Fortunately for drooling fans they'll be larking in the park beforehand.
Words: Brian Donaldson
AT FIRST GLANCE. Ocean Colour Scene fans appear to have nothing in common with Tory voters. Yet think about it — there are hordes of them out there and none of them seem prepared to admit it.
The band have their celebrity supporters — Chris Evans still uses ‘The Riverboat Song‘ to herald his guests on Tl"! Friday and Noel Gallagher has bummed up the Brummie boys something rotten. But few people confess to be mad for it OCS-style. Got the silly seaside hat and everything.
The crucial difference is that when Ocean Colour Scene appear centre stage at T in the Park on Sunday 13 July. their fans will be out in force. The Tories. on the other hand. flopped at their last gig.
It is hard to believe Ocean Colour Scene began life in 198‘) as an obscure psychadelic baggy combo. Yet Messrs Fowler (vocals). Cradock (guitar). Harrison (drums) and Minchella (bass) didn’t get where they are today by relying on favours from famous mates. At least not entirely.
Taking time out from modelling for l/(ﬂkswagen magazine. vocalist Simon Fowler pays homage to the man who. depending on your opinion. is a ﬂame-haired entrepreneurial guru or an irritating ginger tosser.
‘We played Chris‘s show and then found out that he was using the record.‘ recalls Fowler. ‘We thought “Wicked.” ‘ Pause. "Though I don‘t think he‘s paid us. the bastard.
‘Without a doubt. Chris Evans broke us. We went on his show and then we went in at Fifteen. Simple as that. It showed a lot of people. and hopefully a lot of young bands. that you don‘t have to go the subscribed route of kow-towing to the press. Without him we would have had a shit year. so I haven‘t got a bad word to say about him.‘
The buying public. meanwhile. appears to have nothing bad to say about Ocean Colour Scene. The figures speak for themselves. There were more than 7().()()() ticket applications for their two shows at Glasgow‘s Barrowland last year. and over 1 million Brits snapped up the band‘s album Moseley Shoals. labelled ‘dadrock‘ or ‘Noelrock‘ by the media's less charitable sectors.
What the cynics forget is that the public just laps it up — Scotland included. ‘I don‘t
10 THE LIST 27 Jun—10 Jul 1997
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know why but Scotland seems to have taken to us more than any other place.‘ says Fowler. Yet what of the headliner‘s curse — the all-day wait for the curtain call and the need to refuse all manner of temptations‘.’
‘We just played in Madrid and went on at half
twelve.‘ remembers Fowler. ‘Prodigy went on at twenty to two. I was thinking: “Sod this. I want to go to my bed.“ I think the day before we played. Suede pulled out. Bertie Bowie had broken his fringe or something.‘ Ooh. you bitch. ‘But we‘ll find ways of staying up.‘ With adulation at T in the Park almost
'Without a doubt, Chris Evans broke us. Without him we would have had a shit year, so I haven't got a bad word to say about him.’ Simon Fowler
guaranteed. the festival should be a safe platform for Ocean Colour Scene to unleash new material. The follow-up to i‘VIose/ev Shoals is branded Mare/tin 'A/rearly. as Fowler explains:
‘When we started getting the songs together. it was March. Steve lCradockl'was marking something down on paper and he asked what month it was and we told him
' 5» EH53]
Ocean Colour Scene: from dole to soul
March and he said: “Marchin‘ already!“ We thought: “Ahh. There‘s the name.“ it was going to be Two Rons Don ‘I Make A Reg but no one liked that. I don‘t think it would have been too popular in the underworld.‘
How will the band follow up their gargantuan-like selling debut album? They could produce a carbon copy. or split for the hills with a country ‘n‘ western/heavy metal crossover affair. Unsurprisingly. they have gone for the former.
‘I think it‘s simpler because we‘ve done this one from scratch with Maxine and Brenda (alias engineer Martyn Hcyes and producer Brendan Lynch). whereas the last one was meant to be demos but they were mixed and added to.‘ says Fowler. ‘One single is called ‘lt‘s A Beautiful Thing.‘ a duet with RP. Arnold. I read the other day that Noel and Paul were on it. but they‘re not. I think that was almost taken for granted. but that‘s the NME for you.‘
For the moment. Ocean Colour Scene can take a lot for granted. including a bottomless mine of success.
Ocean Colour Scene play the Main Stage on Sun 13 Jul. Their new single ’Hundread Mile High City' is out now.