Ocean Colour Scene at Southampton Guildhall

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Black Star Riders: from left, Scott Gorham, Chad Szeliga, Ricky Warwick,  Robbie Crane and Damon Johnson.  Picture by Richard Stow

Black Star Riders come under Heavy Fire on their latest tour

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BACK in the heady days of Britpop, a certain Noel Gallagher once proclaimed Ocean Colour Scene the second best band in the world - after Oasis, of course.

Not everyone would agree with him, but while other bands from the era have split up and reformed for the money - sorry, for the fans - Simon Fowler and his men have kept a devoted following as they quietly released material for the last 20 years or so.

On this tour they go back to the 1990s by performing their classic album Moseley Shoals in its entirety. That means they open with three well-known gems - Riverboat Song, The Day We Caught The Train and The Circle.

Trouble is, once you’ve performed your usual encore first, there’s nowhere to go. There’s an inevitable drop in energy from the crowd as the rest of the album plays out.

After the break the pace picks up again and OCS don’t hold back on the hits. Better Day and Profit In Peace get a well-received airing and by the time the set ends with a storming cover of The Beatles’ Day Tripper, the venue is buzzing again.

They may have been around for two decades, but there’s little chance of these rock survivors outstaying their welcome.