Saturday, December 21, 2013

The Ocean Blue - Riverside -- Jammin Java - Dec 20 2013

Riverside -Brought out of semi-retirement by the Ocean Blue to play some shows out east, this venerable Philadelphia quartet seems a fine addition to the bill tonight. The twin guitar quartet starts with a core style that reminds one of Buffalo Springfield or the Byrds. They take it through 1980s style power pop (I am thinking a less intense Smithereens) and fit comfortably into the indie rock scene in recent years. It is delivered with smooth assurance that foreshadows the sound and quality that we will be getting from the headliner. Their 32 minutes whizzed by as the sold-out crowd filled every corner of the club.
The Ocean Blue - I am surprised to see this band has now been around for 27 years. Their fans that they have picked up along this long journey are filling the club tonight in this the first of two sold-out shows at the Jammin Java. The band has a high quality Americana light rock style that is clearly crossed with the mostly Mancunian British pop-rock scene of old. You can close your eyes on a couple of cuts and swear you are hearing Morrisey croon away to a latter day Smiths song. They vary the British and American styles in subtle ways and retain a strong sense of identity in the process. At times, this is a bit too light for me and I could use a stronger component in some of the songs, but I can not argue strongly against the clear quality of this band. And neither could the crowd who were relaxed but absorbed by tonight's music.

Posting of the Day: A Black Cat Facebook post yesterday... "Just to clarify: Depeche Mode are not playing here. It's a DJ night. Just like The Smiths or The Cure DJ nights are not actually The Smiths or The Cure. Those bands would never play here. They are way too big to play the Black Cat. Most of this confusion happens because of Song Kick, which is a terrible website with a lot of glitches. It is best to consult either our official website or Ticket Fly, not a third party website."


Chris O. said...

I love the word "Mancunian" almost as much as I love the word "Glaswegian".

David Hintz said...

Ha! Yes, I think Glaswegian wins that one by a nose.