Last time I saw Ocean Grove at Enigma Bar in October 2016 I said “it’s exciting to imagine what Ocean Grove’s next album will be like if their latest single [at the time] Lights On Kind Of Lover is anything to go by”.
It’s now August 2017 and Ocean Grove have moved to a larger venue at Fowlers Live with only a few tickets left on the door. The crowd sizes have grown since the release of Ocean Grove’s debut album The Rhapsody Tapes evident by the packed out room.
The album is such a success that Ocean Grove performed The Rhapsody Tapes from start to finish, a refreshing sight to see coming from a new band who are steadily growing their stock compared to the nostalgic older act playing an anniversary album in full.
Ocean Grove exploded with juggernauts and claymores such as ‘Beers’, ‘These Boys Light Fires’ and ‘Intimate Alien’ giving fans a showcase of their bread and butter. An interesting highlight of the show included the slower and more melodic number ‘The Wrong Way’. When bassist Dale Tanner takes over the vocals, Ocean Grove become a different band. ‘The Wrong Way’ is a classic rock anthem with Tanner’s vocals reminiscent of the strongest 90’s frontmen, while the rest of the band’s instrumentals take inspiration from the stylistic roots and structure of the decade while still adding a contemporary overlay.
Once frontman Luke Holmes returns to the stage you’re reminded why Ocean Grove has won over so many fans, their diversity. Holmes takes the stage with drummer Sam Bassal and goes straight into the short rap verses of ‘Slow Soap Soak’, the polar opposite of a 90’s ballad.
The Rhapsody Tapes live and in full is a theatrical experience and shows that this album was recorded to be listened back to front, having a well thought out balance of full guitar thumping breakdowns and melodic euphony.
With a two song encore finish, Ocean Grove performed two of the tracks that made their name ‘I Told You To Smile’ and ‘Lights On Kind Of Lover’. On their own, these are two of the fiercest and meaty stand alone singles with the crowd giving their largest pop of the night to ‘Lights On Kind Of Lover’.
These live performances of The Rhapsody Tapes in full are a special time in Ocean Grove’s career. The band have already reached a point where they can perform their debut album in full and keep an audience in the palm of their hand throughout the show.
Ocean Grove’s ‘Odd World’ has just been opened and is only going to get bigger.