Still holding the record for the largest UK arena tour to date, Ocean Colour Scene continue to be one of the premier live acts both in terms of ticket sales and producers of exciting, inclusive, sounds. Returning to the studio for the first time in 7 years, the Scene-sters are not only back on tour, but also back with a new EP and encouraging noises about further releases. Damian Robinson caught up with lead singer Simon Fowler to find out more about the new tour and material.
The new EP is great. What prompted the band to get back into the studio?
I’ve been working on some folk pieces for the past couple of years and Steve’s been off with The Specials and other projects so we just sort of kept missing each other. It was nice to find time to get something done under the name Ocean Colour Scene and we’re really happy with it; Steve put together 2 of the tracks and I did the other 2.
Is the plan for this to lead to a new album?
Yeah. I don’t work as hard as I should do so I’ve made a promise to go off and write more material next year – enough for an album. Steve’s away with The Specials on a world tour and I’ll use the time to write an album.
You’ve got a limited edition vinyl of the new EP to take on tour with you, and you’re touring with Martha Reeves, so it’ll be another superb live event…
Thanks – we hope so. I can’t believe that we’re still so popular as a live band. Perhaps it’s because when we first started we went to a lot of places other acts didn’t go to, or perhaps it’s because we’re elder statesmen now (laughing).
You seem very humble given that an Ocean Colour Scene show always seems to sell well and that you’ve broken live records for audiences…
Thanks; I try not to think about those things, to be honest. I’m from Birmingham so I’ve been brought up to know my place and to treat everyone the same. It’s nice to have live records but ultimately we’re only as good as our next show so we want to get ready to put on a great show.
The first show in Newcastle sold out and a second one was announced. Is there something special about a North East show that you enjoy?
I really enjoy playing in the North East as the crowd is really friendly and into the music. I’m not sure why the Malmaison sells beer in Scuna’s though, I’ve still got to figure that out.
Ocean Colour Scene play the O2 Academy in Newcastle on Sunday 9th and Monday 10th December. Tickets for Monday’s gig, priced from £31.45, are available at ticketmaster.co.uk.