★★★★★ (5/5)

Indie rock outfit Ocean Colour Scene have been wowing crowds all over the world for nearly 30 years, and tonight saw a welcome return to Scotland, as singer Simon Fowler said after opening number you Got It Bad, it was ‘,,,,so good to be back home again!!”, such is their following in Scotland.

With no new music to promote, this was just a tour to keep in touch with their fans, who returned the favour by selling out the shows all over the country. Supported on the night by OCS bass player Ray Meade’s brother Daniel and his colleague Lloyd Reid, they warmed the crowd with their acoustic approach, music with a folk background. Daniel is no stranger to OCS himself, having played keyboards on their last tour, and the Motherwell audience showed their appreciation of his music with warm applause. A fine start to the evening.

And now onto the main headliners. Ocean Colour Scene have been well revered in Scotland since the early days, and always class The Barrowlands as their spiritual home. Its been a number of years since they played that famous venue, their last few visits to the city have seen them play The Hydro, so it was nice to see them in a smaller arena again, the Motherwell Civic Centre.

Bursting onto the stage to an enormous roar, they started with You’ve Got It Bad, The Riverboat Song and So Low, 3 crackers to get the crowd on their toes. Lining Your Pockets and Its My Shadow followed, another dip back into Moseley Shoals, the album that brought them to prominence in 1996.

The band’s line up has seen several changes over the years, but the core of Simon Fowler on lead vocals, Steve Cradock on guitar and Oscar Harrison on drums remains, with new addition Ray Meade on bass. Cradock’s son Cass often joins the band on stage these days, as does Harrison’s son Leon, on percussion.

The temperature outside during the day was in the high 20s, and inside the venue was no different. The hot and sweaty crowd were loving the music, and the band were giving their usual 100%. The acoustic version of The Circle, nice to hear that played live, the singalong anthem Profit In Peace had the crowd chanting ‘we dont wanna fight no more’, One for the Road, Get Blown Away, Travellers Tune and another from Moseley Shoals, a welcome return to the set for Get Away, a chance to see the tremendous talents of Oscar on drums and percussuion, and the first half was done. Time for the band to have a well deserved teabreak!

As is the norm Simon returned to the stage on his own for Robin Hood, an old bside which has become a regular in the set. The rest of the band join him for a cover of the Small Faces hit Song Of A Baker, before Hundred Mile High Ciy and a huge singalong with the crowd for The Day We Caught The Train, before the band took their bows and left the stage,

The crowd, feeling tired and weary, sauntered off into the night and another Ocean Colour Scene gig was over. A tremendous show, the band can never be faulted live in concert, you never get less than 100%. Cradock is such a talent on guitar and his son looks to be following in his footsteps, Fowlers voice has never sounded better, Meade on bass is a breath of fresh air bringing his own touch to the music. and Harrison at the back brings it all together. OCS are a fantastic band, hugely underrated ‘growing up’ in the shadow of Oasis during the Britpop days, but they have shown time and and time again they are a band not to be missed.


  • You’ve Got It Bad

  • The Riverboat Song

  • So Low

  • Golden Gate Bridge

  • Lining Your Pockets

  • It’s My Shadow

  • Go to Sea

  • The Circle - (Acoustic)

  • Last December - (Acoustic)

  • Better Day - (Acoustic)

  • Profit in Peace

  • Fleeting Mind

  • July

  • One for the Road

  • Get Blown Away

  • Travellers Tune

  • Get Away


  • Robin Hood

  • I Wanna Stay Alive With You

  • Song of a Baker - (Small Faces cover)

  • Hundred Mile High City

  • The Day We Caught the Train


Stephen Wilson