Ocean Colour Scene

In the year that British Guitar music is heading to the top of the charts we caught up with long-standing people's band Ocean Colour Scene. Last time they hit Manchester it was to play 2 sold out nights at the Apollo. This time its a little more intimate with a low-key acoustic show to a select 300. We caught up with Simon and Steve and reminisced about the good old days.

Q: These acoustic shows its all about getting back to basics?
Steve: This is the first acoustic show we've done. I don't know why we've done it acoustic - they just suggested it to us and we fancied doing something different. Were doing it for the people on the fanbase and its also for the Radio Station so were not seeing it as a gig really.

Its going to be a more down tempo theme cos' its acoustic obviously. Were doing stuff of the B-sides album and leave out "The Riverboat Song" or shit like that - keeping it more soul orientated!!!

Q: Lyrically, you've got that kind of universal language which touches the ordinary man in the street?
Simon: I was thinking about "Mechanical Wonder" this morning and its funny cos' everyone goes "Is that about computers and stuff?". The thing is mechanical wonder isn't about computers. Its about the stone age, mechanical wonder, its not Digital Wonder and no ones picked up on that.

The lyrics just come to me and I write them. Some of them have got an idea behind them but others are just .... people assume I want to keep my personal life separate but that's more to do with the questions you're asked by journalists.

Q: When the tabloids started invading you're personal life it must have been hard to handle?
Simon: At the time it was a group who had sold millions of records so we weren't a private group. I'm just surprised it didn't happen earlier. No-one gave a fuck in the early days when I used to where make-up - everyone knew but no-one gave a fuck!!!!

I think that if you're in a group, having seen the stuff that has happened to Oasis first hand, then you cling together and when it gets to that stage its just on a higher level of non-sense.

Q: Do you find it strange that the people who once wrote you off as "retro" or "too muso" are now championing Coldplay and Starsailor which are bland by anyone's tastes?
Steve: I expect it to be honest with you cos' they're just talking shit and people like that can be proved wrong and wrong all the time about it. Everything's retro it, it just depends whether you like it or not. I'd rather people say "they don't fucking like this shite" which they do anyway.

Coldplay and Starsailor - they've got a few good songs but they don't mean anything to me as a band. Tell me a classic at the moment. There's nothing great at the moment - the last great band were Oasis!!!

Most bands do the same thing all the way through their career because that's how your band sounds. Certain bands change like Primal Scream and Radiohead but that's up to them. With us its just about the songs so I can't really see us doing an experimental left-field album.

Q: You've got "Mechanical Wonder" out now. Does it bother you that the Top 10 hits aren't forthcoming with each successive release?
Steve: The problem is that radio won't play you anymore and what can you do about that. Their scene is changing, things are changing and you can't get bothered about it or you'll just end up bitter and twisted. I wouldn't be doing what I was doing it I was bothered about it.

The record company are talking about putting out a Greatest Hits - so its are time over isn't it!!!!

"Mechanical Wonder" is out now