There is a moment during various gigs where you realise that a circle pit is coming for you and there’s nothing you can do about it. If you move forwards, you will be inevitably crushed to death by the screaming hordes. If you move backwards, there is the terrifying prospect you will trip over your own shoelace and be lost forever. This moment happened to me during the support act Ghost of a Thousand. I chose to stay where I was and the outcome was luckily nothing more than a gentle crush against a man’s anorak during an utterly sublime cover of 'Back in Black' by AC/DC.

We Are The Ocean are a five-piece post hardcore outfit from the London and Essex areas. They are fast emerging as a new British talent after being nominated for the Kerrang! Best British Newcomer award in 2007. They have sold out gigs up and down the country and recently released their debut full length album ‘Cutting Our Teeth’ to much critical fanfare. They arrived on stage with a bang, after a longer-than-necessary build up involving sci-fi music and smoky lighting, and initially I was impressed with their sound, their look and the massive energy they put into running around the stage.

As I’m not a massive We Are The Ocean fan, I wasn’t sure what to expect from the gig. I know a few songs, but not all. The main dilemma I face when reviewing something less than familiar is “how am I going to remember which songs they did?” And my stock answer to this is to write down lyrics on a postcard, my hand, or in this instance a print out of an email I had in my bag at the time. As a result of this extremely not-recommended technique I don’t manage to catch the names of some songs, but in this instance they were all so similar that beyond the obvious crowd pleasers I don’t think it mattered to anyone there what they were singing.

The categorical crowd favourite was also one of their best known. 'Are You Proud Of Me Now?' was the best received of the night, the crowd performing just as much as the band in response to the music. Other highlights included 'Playing My Heart' and 'Our Days Are Numbered', where the band really seemed to play off to the energy of the writhing mass in front of them. It would be unfair to describe their performance as lacklustre, but there was nothing about the band which made me think “I have to see them again”.

After the energy and effort they put into their set, I should be able to come out with more to say about them but the truth of the matter was they were formulaic at best, although at least enthusiastic about their same-yness. Reading some of the bands We Are The Ocean have performed alongside, it seems like they would benefit from a more polished performance. They are not yet established enough to rely on the strength of their songs alone, at least for an audience wider than their teen hardcore following. All in all, I think they were outdone by Ghost of a Thousand. The gig would have felt much more comfortable if We Are The Ocean had been the support, and I think I would have been more forgiving of their performance.

But maybe that’s just me. I know for sure is that We Are The Ocean front man Liam Crosby looked EXACTLY like He-Man. And in a truly great band, that wouldn’t have distracted me from the music.

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Commenting On: Academy 2, Newcastle, 14/10/2010 - We Are The Ocean

ie London, England

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