We were led onto the stage by a guy with a torch. It was pitch black and all I could concentrate on was not falling on my arse in front of 2000 people.
The most we’d played to before this was probably 200.
I sat behind my drum kit. Instantly it became a shield, something to hide behind and mask my fear. I treated it like an old friend, and counted in the first song with 3 shaky stick clicks.
1. 2. 3. BOOM BOOM.
The opening bar of the first song is one of the few things I remember about playing that night. As soon as it started we all relaxed. In truth, because of the lights, I couldn’t see the crowd, so I convinced myself they weren’t there. The acid test for all bands is the reaction at the end of a song that no-one in that crowd has ever heard before. If there’s a split second silence between the end of the song and the crowd applauding, you’re in trouble. Thankfully, Dundee did not disappoint. A rapturous reception in an instant. The adrenalin coursing through me was in danger of giving me some kind of cardiac problem. The gig went on, the crowd came along with us. During our 3rd or 4th song, Damon Minchella appeared at the side of the stage with a massive grin on his face. I caught his eye and he gave me a double ‘thumbs up’. It went well.
During OCS’s set, Steve Cradock gave us a nice mention – “What about The Shores? They fucking rocked.” or words to that effect. It might have been “What about The Bores? They fucking sucked.” Can’t really remember. After the gig we were invited to the OCS dressing room for a celebratory beer. I sat and talked to the drummer all night and couldn’t quite believe what we were in the middle of.
The next night was the Edinburgh Playhouse. Of the 3 nights, this was the most deflated. An all seated capacity crowd looked at us if they were at the cinema. Ushers showing people to seats, people getting up to get an ice-cream etc. OCS themselves didn’t enjoy that gig.
Glasgow is home. Scotland were playing that day, so we nipped into town and watched the game in a sports bar. While we were in town, we decided to pick up a few presents for OCS and their crew. We got the sound engineer a bottle of wine, the roadies a bottle of whisky, and the band a Lion Rampant flag (to be signed by us) and a bottle of Whisky. We also bought ourselves a Lion Rampant to take onto stage with us (Scotland won).
10 minute call, time to play at The Carling Academy, Glasgow. Ryan had the flag, planning to walk out with it held aloft. This was a sure fire crowd pleaser. Clever that way, The Shores.
3rd song in, Ryan threw the flag into the crowd. It surfed it’s way over heads for the duration of the set. Glasgow, as we knew it would be, was a success. That flag made it’s way back on to stage while OCS were on stage. Simon Fowler tied it to his guitar and threw it back in later.
The aftershow party would be the last we would see of Ocean Colour Scene. They accepted their gifts with pleasure, and wished us all the best for the future.
It was over. A mixture of emotions followed for the next few weeks. I was working 2 days after playing the Academy. BUMP.
Where, in the name of the weeman, do The Shores go from here?…