We Are The Ocean, Norwich Waterfront
Victory lap for British rock's most promising gang
Following the recent re-release of their debut album 'Cutting Our Teeth', We Are The Ocean have finally been given the chance to showcase the albums combined power and melody as a headline act.
But before WATO take to the stage the, it must be said, rather young crowd are treated to New Hampshire’s Our Last Night and raucous rockers The Ghost of a Thousand. Our Last Night’s post-hardcore sets the tone nicely with frontman Trevor Wentworth showcasing an impressive growl given his physical stature. The Ghost of a Thousand are ever impressive live, with raw energy and talisman Tom Lacy gets in the faces, and for one lucky male the crotch, of the audience; either towering over them from the stage or swinging from overhead pipes. Not only drawing on their own impressive catalogue they even bust out AC/DC classic 'Back in Black' which causes the first real sing-along of the night.
Despite those impressive support sets it's clear that the vast majority are here for We Are The Ocean. With only one full album to their name the fact that this venue is almost full (although not officially sold out) is testament to that debut album and their fast-growing reputation. From the moment they hit the stage to the moment they finish, WATO command everyone’s attention.
Given the re-release of 'Cutting Our Teeth', tonight sees the band showcasing songs from before and after the albums original ten tracks. New single 'Lucky One' is giving an early airing to a rabid response with the audience trading vocals along with lead singer Dan Brown and
guitarist/vocalist Liam Cromby. The new songs played tonight show a slight change in direction from the heavier tracks found on the original release, however the hook-laden 'Playing My Heart' and 'Waiting' slot perfectly alongside fan favourites 'All of This Has to End' and 'Nothing Good Has Happened Yet'. The subtle change in direction may finally start to put to bed the lazy comparisons to America’s
The band more than match the songs for high energy levels with Brown jumping around the stage and swinging his fists like he is battling an invisible man. Like Lacy before him he also scales the barrier to get up close and personal with the fans and manages to swing from the rafters without missing a single note. Brown is helped on vocal duties by the soulful tones of co-vocalist Cromby who contributes many of the bands sing-along moments. The pair’s conflicting styles work brilliantly when combined, non more so than on the anthemic 'Confessions'. Here Cromby is given the limelight for the soft introduction before being joined by his bandmates to create the pounding finale.
With songs for the “difficult second album” already taking shape in demo form, tonight not only serves as an appropriate send off to the opening chapter of We Are The Ocean’s career to date but also a sign of much, much bigger things to come.