Riding on the release of their brand new album Go Now and Live, post-hardcore quintet We are the Ocean has embarked on a short tour of the UK with some damn fine support in tow. The second night of these dates at the Electric Ballroom in Camden was a fierce performance, well received by a crowd made up of both veteran and new-school fans, going off with only a near-fatal hitch.
Opening up for the Londoners was Don Bronco, your fairly standard hard core rockers, but crowd enthusing front man Simon Delaney made them a cut above so many others. Twin Atlantic followed after with a trio of vocalists suited up in baggy t-shirts, who had more than a few die-hards in the audience willing to stage dive en masse on command, their new album Free is even fresher than that of the headliner: do check it out. The final pre-cursor was Georgia based pop-punk band Veara, marking the stage with two banners displaying the wild art style of the cover for album What We Left Behind. Whilst the tired American sensibilities were off-putting (seriously when was the last time you were asked if you were ‘ready to rock’ at a gig?) the insanity of bassist Bryan Kerr and almost mythical chick drummer Brittany Harrell were a decent spectacle.
Finally taking to the stage nearly two and a half hours after the doors opened, We are the Ocean furthered the build-up with an extended intro made up of three separate drum kits and short bursts of studio fed Liam Cromby, before the full band burst into Lucky Ones. From there it was a mix of familiar and fresh with new album single What It Feels Like followed by old favourite These days I Have Nothing. In the latter song however, during his crowd bating, harsh vocalist and front-man Dan Brown apparently banged up his knee, leaving an uncertainty on Neck Of The Woods with lead guitarist Alfie Scully taking his place (not doing bad at all either). Thankfully Dan suffered no sustainable injury, even allowing a pun about the rest of the band not having to go to The Waiting Room. Speaking of which, the built-up crowd chanting set-up mid-way through that song was pure magic, highlighting the highly praised vocals of Cromby but also resulting in a combined chorus that even Dan seemed enamoured at.
From that any fan can see the set list was a nice mix spanning the entire catalogue, and whilst the whole band played everything flawlessly the more refined and less aggressive nature of the new album’s songs was felt in the crowd; the lack of thrashing and circle pits in comparison to the chaos during Days and Look Alive would have been noticeable by one clueless as to when the song playing was written, but hey can’t go wrong with a bit of variety.
The encore was but one song in length, but chosen wisely, Cromby bathed by a lone stage light, leading the whole band into Confessions, his singing superbly on par with that of the studio version. This capped a solid evening; whilst the new album jars in this sort of environment the fan base is as devoted as ever. Now all that’s left is to see how these guys cope in a festival playground.