Oceansize / Capulet / Pure Reason Revolution - The Mill Preston -28.3.05
You can tell Preston has a high population of students. Over three quarters of the audience are most definitely eating economy beans and living on cash back from spa and they've turned out in the droves to see a now rare northwest date on the Oceansize tour. A few of the locals will no doubt be here to support Capulet. Imagine a better looking, show gazing Mogwai with prog rock pretensions minus keyboards and synths. The first song Capulet play is well over ten minutes long, without any vocals. It's experimental and certainly a change from the same kind of indie bands who plague the circuit with three chords and very little imagination. Their material is original and even during the slow funeral paced moments of their performance, I still admire their tenacity. They may have only played two songs, but it's long enough to experience such a powerful and unusual band.
Pure Reason Revolution have the kind of name which you'd associate with a band performing in Austin Power's shag pod at a psychedelic soiree. There's a trip through 60s nostalgia with keyboard solo's straight out of the Doors, at times it's mixing blues and country, entering into trip-hop and ambience, Pure Reason Revolution encompass most musical genres. There are elements of Porcupine Tree during certain songs, but during the end of their set it's a rockathon. With so much diversity it's hard to identify a specific sound, which in itself isn't really a bad thing.
Tonight is the first gig Oceansize have played in quite a while. Frontman Mike Vennard looks out into the crowd nervously, but throughout the performance he regains the confidence of yore. Loosely categorized as emo with a prominent influence of Muse, this is a serious band whose set is full of new material, so new it hasn't even been recorded yet, the purpose being of the tour to receive immediate feedback from their fans. There's still plenty of pent up aggression which fuels Oceansize's scuzzy guitars and tormented tortuous vocals. Amongst the grunge and gothic influences the melodies are still plentiful in supply. new song "Meredith" is a less hurried, more leisurely song with welcome additions of electronica, which is naturally well received by the fans.
Oceansize are proud of the fact they aren't just another dumb ass rock band with meatheads for fans. Not surprisingly there isn't an encore, which is expected, as they aren't the sort of band to conform to every cliché in the rock handbook.
Nicholas Paul Godkin
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