It’s Friday night, it’s raining, it’s gone 11pm, the old men’s pubs have shut and club land awakes! Everywhere except Accrington that is. Whilst the rest of the country is starting to sit up and take notice of singer/songwriter Ocean Reid it appears that there is something of a cultural void in this neck of the woods as punters are decidedly thin on the ground. Sometimes it really is grim up north!
It almost feels like a sound check as Ocean takes to the stage on his own for ‘Painted Pill’ but he doesn’t let the lack of numbers out front bother him and comfortably slips into performance mode. His voice has a likeable quality to it, a fragile edge but with enough bite to cut through when needed. He’s joined by a full band for the rest of the set, which starts a little slowly with ‘Words Like Cold Water’. The band create a much fuller sound that is helped by a good mix and subsequently tracks like ‘Take A Deep Breath’, that might have sounded a little empty solo, become much more engaging.
The whole set has very laid back and relaxed feel to it, the delicate piano and lilting violin complimenting the melody and it’s hard not to like. There are the odd moments where it feels a little flat and with such a relaxed feel there isn’t a great deal of edge but then there are songs like ‘Talking dead’ that are completely engaging.
It’s a short yet professional set tonight and given the lack of crowd it’s not surprising but we’ve seen enough to suggest that given the right breaks we are unlikely to see Mr Reid and co. in such spartan circumstances again. With a UK tour penciled in for November and with BBC sessions already under his belt it wouldn’t surprise us if there was a rapid rise in sea level …sea level…Ocean…see what I did there? Never mind. Taxi!