Sunday, 11 September 2011

Oceans Between @ The Sugarmill 9th September 2011

Review by Charlotte Lunt

Following a rash of gigs over the bank holiday weekend, and opening our own Festival earlier this year (which seems like an age away), I can honestly say it’s a treat to hear Oceans Between playing tonight. Performing to a respectably full mill, the three piece, featuring brothers Alex and Oliver Gwilt and Robert Egan; on vocals and lead, bass, and drums respectively they opened this evening’s show with a solid set of their driving rock.

It would be fair to say that they are mostly driven from the rear (no pun intended) with bedrock drumming from Rob - but that is not to detract from the guitar skills of Oliver and Alex. Bravely opening with a new number – a mere 3 days old – they set the bar high, before striding through their set. I didn’t manage to catch all the song titles, but of note is ‘Brothers in Arms’ which in my opinion has real potential as a debut single. Alex’s soaring vocals and delivery reminiscent of an angry Johnny Borrell are really showcased here, and it would be great to see him perform this free from the constraints of his guitar and release his inner front man.

If the pace of a set could be measured by a sweat-o-meter, then by my reckoning at this mid-point, the score is drippingly high; but the amount of effort going into the performance is certainly paying off. What is really impressive for an opening slot at the mill is not only the turn out but the number of people who are really watching the band rather than chatting amongst themselves – perhaps the conversations are happening on the roof, but with people dancing along and clearly enjoying the tunage this is a far better reception than I’ve seen for many openers of late.

Attacking each song head on seems to be the Oceans Between way and stands them in good stead for building a following. Finishing with ‘Reservoir of tears’, a rousing ballardesque number with a definite sing-a-long and mosh-a-long ability, there is a hint of great things to come from this band, so if you do get the opportunity to go and watch them play, take it.

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