The Day We Caught The Train (The Rise And Fall Of An Unsigned Band – Pt 9)

Ocean Colour Scene were part of the Oasis phenomenon.

The bold OCS.

The first Oasis gig I went to was in a tent at Irvine Beach in 1994. The support acts were Cast and Ocean Colour Scene. I liked Cast, I’d heard ‘Finetime’ by this time and I was suitably impressed. Ocean Colour Scene were a different prospect. I had never heard any of their stuff before. I tried to get a ticket for that gig for a lassie a year below me in school called Sarah-Jayne. Turns out I couldn’t. Turns out it didn’t matter, because she went to Irvine and bumped into the bassist of Ocean Colour Scene and got in anyway.

My first thoughts on them were ‘who do they think they are?, poncing about like the Stones, blah, blah, blah.’

When I look back, they were twice the band (musically) that Oasis would ever be.

So, there we were, arranging another gig in Bar Cuba. This time someone told us that the band we were playing with were supporting OCS in Blackburn and Damon Minchella (OCS bassist) was coming to see them. As with everything, we took this with a pinch of salt. However, it turns out this was the truth.

We were on first. I saw Damon Minchella walk in with another guy (who we know now as Pete) and near pished myself. We played. We played as well as we could play. I remember the third song in, looking over at Damon Minchella and his head was bobbing like the Churchill dog (Who didn’t even exist then)… He was enjoying our set…

We came off stage and Minchella got a hold of me…

“I really enjoyed your set” he said, while I struggled to compose myself.

“Thanks, man” I said, pathetically.

And that was that… until later.

The band that was supporting them in Blackburn was on next. Initially they seemed alright… and then they played a cover version of A-HA’s take on me. With trumpets. We were aghast. Turns out, so was Damon Minchella.

Damon Minchella got a hold of me, while that band were still on, and said “how do you fancy supporting us in Blackburn?”

“Well” I thought. “Fuck me…”

So that was that. We were supporting OCS in Blackburn a few months later…

Nearly.

Proud Mary. Shite.

A month before the gig we got a phone call. “Sorry boys. Proud Mary are the support for the tour. Gig’s off for you.”

FUCK SAKE.

Turns out NOEL GALLAGHER had intervened. His shitty little prodigies (and they were shit) had exclusive rights to the support slot, and there was fuck all we could do about it. Damon Minchella later explained that “OCS had a lot to thank Oasis for” and they had no option but to accept this.

Bastard.

Disappointed didn’t begin to describe my feelings. So close.

We plodded on. Gig, after gig, after gig, after gig.

We came back up the road and played at Caledonia Uni for some reason. Can’t remember why. Anyway, we met a guy called Alex there who wanted to manage us. We told him he could if he took this number of an OCS contact and sorted out another support slot. I’ll cut a long story short here and tell you that he did. Oh aye, did he.

The Shores were to support Ocean Colour Scene on their ‘North Atlantic Drift’ tour for all 3 Scottish dates. Will it actually happen this time?…

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