Interview: Ocean Colour Scene
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Ocean Colour Scene are in sound check for tonight’s gig at The Academy in Leeds. TNS are waiting ever so patiently to have a chat with Steve Cradock before the gig. Sound check finishes and we are introduced, ‘Hi I’m Steve!’ he says, sticking out a hand. Steve is unmistakably a music man, from his laid back, almost nonchalant demeanour, to the way he draws on a Benson and Hedges, effortless cool. It’s easy to see how this man has been in the music industry as long as he has. His band, Ocean Colour Scene have become somewhat veterans of the music industry. The band have been together since 1989, which is coincidently the year most of us students were born, not that I want to make Steve feel old…In this time the band have shared some rather impressive successes. They have had a not-too-shabby five top ten albums and played countless gigs and their famous Riverboat riff even featured on TFI Friday: ‘We went on it loads of times. I think it’s a shame it’s gone. Whatever you think about Chris Evans, it was a Friday night show where you could have four live bands playing on it. You just don’t have shows like that anymore, I think the country misses a show like that. My message is bring back TFI Friday, definitely, why not?’ We talk about the Britpop era and what it was like to be playing music at such a ground-breaking time: ‘It was amazing. It was extraordinary. Yeah, it definitely was an exciting time.’ Steve says with a nod ‘there were lots of guitar groups coming out at that time and a lot of good albums and music. We were just on the road all the time, it was crazy. I think in 1996 we did something like 230 gigs in a year and also recorded 2 albums. So it was like not having a day off in two years but in a great way.Similarly, even now the band are regularly on tour. But unlike then, now Steve has a family at home, ‘I have a daughter, a son and a wife at home so it gets difficult being away. I’ve become a Skype Dad I think, so you keep in touch to a certain extent. They come to the gigs sometimes – they were at the gig last night. They are only six and seven, but I think they enjoy it.’ Surely one of his greatest live moments has to be supporting Oasis at Knebworth, playing to over 150,000 fans per night. ‘It was amazing’ he simply says, no more, no less. It really is amazing and then some, over 2.6 million people applied for tickets for the shows, making it the largest ever demand for concert tickets in British history.
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