LIVE: We Are The Ocean at Clwb Ifor Bach, Cardiff [01/10/12]

By Lais

We Are The Ocean have taken their time and have now fully found their feet after their overhaul earlier on this year. As a treat for the fans they’re now revisiting intimate venues where they earned their dues before they started bothering festival main stages and bigger venues.

First up tonight are Great Cynics: this band have been steadily building a following both in the UK and overseas. They’ve been touring hard all year and this tour comes as something as a break for them and a reward for the hard work they’ve put in. They were never going to raise the roof considering the different styles in the bands to come after them, but what they do is provide an alternative to what is to come, allowing people to be eased into the venue with cheery folk punk. They grab people’s attention and leave them smiling, so they certainly gained a few fans tonight.

Up next are Giants, again another weird choice for support, but it is great to see WATO give the opportunity for lesser known bands to get their name out there to a crowd that they normally wouldn’t encounter otherwise. Energetic and melodic, Giants seem to go down well: yes, a lot of the crowd are wondering what’s going on, but a lot of the crowd are also enjoying it as well. The band seem appreciative of the attention received and again, for the second time tonight, a band has left the stage exposed to a new audience and gained some fans in the process.

Finally it’s time for We Are The Ocean and the venue is suitably filled out. New album ‘Maybe Today, Maybe Tomorrow’ has gone down a storm all round and it has filled the band with a renewed confidence. Set opener ‘Machine’ is an absolute banger while mid set ‘Chin Up, Son’ is just a wonderful acoustic number. I’m still not convinced that the older songs sound as good as they do with shared vocals compared to the older sound that WATO used to have but it’s understandable that they still need to be played to appease older fans of the band. I do hope that as WATO release more music the older songs are phased out as they do sound like a different band and the new songs do stand up on their own brilliantly.

Overall, tonight was a great showcase of talent. It won’t be long before WATO are back in the bigger venues in which they belong and I imagine it may be a long time until you see them in these smaller venues again.

Chris Marshman