So, Oceansize then?
One of my top 3 favourite bands (with Tool and Devin Townsend in his many incarnations taking up the other two spots and the order varying on a near enough weekly basis), I’d seen them 7 times before tonight, only 3 times headlining though, they’d never let me down before, would this be the first time? I hoped not, however I had to stand through support bands Mojo Fury and Tubelord first.
Out of the two, I’d say Mojo Fury won the battle, both were somewhat similar to Oceansize in expansive song structure but, unfortunately for Tubelord their frontman was in possession of a voice that grated somewhat after the first half of the first song, which is a shame as musically I did enjoy them a fair bit! However Mojo Fury and their (allegedly) sore throated (he didn’t sound it in the slightest) vocalist/guitarist pulled out a heavier Frames era Oceansize with aplomb and they are definitely a band worth keeping an eye and ear out for!
Next, in a surprise move in doing their own roadie duty (I’m sure they weren’t last time I saw them) and near enough staying on the stage until they started their set were the mighty Oceansize.
Starting with lead track Part Cardiac from their new release Self Preserved While The Bodies Float Up, if the crowd wasn’t paying attention before, they certainly were after the opening chords! Easily the heaviest number Oceansize have in their arsenal, it’s a brilliant opener and I hope it stays that way in their set for a long time.
Going on with another new cut, Build a Rocket Then, Oceansize really made me realize quite how strong a release the new album is, both of the opening numbers are some of the punchiest songs Oceansize have and probably will ever write in their existence, I mean lets be honest, they are known for their, shall we say extended, numbers, which a couple of songs later we would come to.
The first more typically Oceansize song would happen to be a song that holds a lot of meaning to me for reasons I won’t go into here (those that need to know, know why) Music For A Nurse. Beautifully fragile on album and reproduced perfectly tonight in the live format, I could only ask for more by Oceansize playing one song that I didn’t think I would get to hear.
However, two songs later I would be proved wrong in that assumption.
Introducing what has become my favourite Oceansize song Silent/Transparent as “one of special track number 7 songs” indicating that the band realises that this song is clearly something that needs to be heard. Live, it is even better than on recording, it brought a tear to my eye, unbeknown to my companion this evening (well they’ll know after reading this review).
It was jaw dropping.
Mike Vennart proved after the song has ended how much of a personable frontman he really is by mocking in a fun way a certain member of the crowd who was probably somewhat over zealous in his rapture at Oceansize playing Silent/Transparent, more frontmen need to be like him!
I don’t want to waffle too much so I’ll just mention that Oceansize finished up on their almost regular finishing number Ornament/The Last Wrongs in perfect and epic style, an excellent ending to what is probably the best performance I’ve seen by this fine band. Apparently they came on for an encore and played Women Who Love Men Who Love Drugs, which is rather unusual for the band, but unfortunately due to train times, I had to miss it but, all the same, I couldn’t complain in the slightest at what I did get to see, I urge you all to check out this band as soon as you possibly can.
Words – Dan Roberts