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Craig Gould on Ocean Colour Scene: Why I Love

We were bowled over by Craig Gould’s last single; Captain Of The Seas (read more here). It was a deeply emotional song that again emphasised struggles with mental health and how successes should be celebrated when overcoming these crippling conditions.

Now, Craig is due to release his next single, Burned. Like Captain Of The Seas, all proceeds will be donated to CALM – Campaign Against Living Miserably.

Burned showcases Craig’s great storytelling skills and is a classic bar room ditty that will get your feet moving and glass sloshing around. Thumping bass mixed with layered acoustic electric guitars make for a brilliant mix that further whets the appetite for Craig’s forthcoming debut LP.

In anticipation of the release of Burned we invited Craig Gould to write for us in our Why I Love column. Read on to find out why Craig loves one of the great British bands of the last 30 years; Ocean Colour Scene.

Ocean Colour Scene

I have to go back to 1996 where it all started.

I’d heard “Day We Caught the Train” on BRMB, an old Birmingham FM radio station. I was 13 years old and had never heard anything like it before. It stirred something inside me, butterflies flapping away as I listened to it. You know, like that flutter you get in your stomach when you go over a humpback bridge quite fast? – I had that.

The vocal was intense, the crunch on it sounded so awesome, and the chorus was massive. I still don’t think today that I’ve heard a song before or after it that is like it. The structure of the song is just perfect for a single. It just keeps rolling along, with so many little changes throughout. Steve Cradock’s guitar work is amazing, it serves the song perfectly without being obtrusive. See, here I go already, fanboying over it!

My Mom (who I lost recently…this is bringing back some lovely memories) told me for Christmas she would buy me my first CD album. I thought long and hard over what it should be, and I whittled it down to two choices. Moseley Shoals by OCS, or the imaginatively titled Spice Girls debut album, “Spice.” She took me to the music shop in Tamworth to choose, on the basis that once chosen I still had to wait until Christmas Day to listen to it.

I stood in the shop for what must’ve been 30 minutes, Spice Girls in one hand, OCS in the other. Mom kept going “For Christ sake Craig will you hurry up!” I was so curious about OCS, the sounds, the way they dressed, the whole package, it should’ve been a no brainer, but puberty had hit and I was badly crushing over all the Spice Girls. I must’ve thought that playing the CD would make them appear in my bedroom? After much careful consideration, I chose Moseley Shoals, and that is the day my life changed forever. 

It was a great time to be a teenager in the mid 90s. Music was amazing; “New” Labour were in power and a feel-good factor flew around the country. OCS released “Marchin Already” in 1997 and I wagged the morning off school to get the bus into town and buy the album with my pocket money. I came home to listen to a few tracks and then went back to school. They provided the soundtrack to my transition to adulthood.

My best mate, Kevin Bishop, and I got tickets to the 10th anniversary tour show at Birmingham NIA (October 1999). We were 16. We bought some bottles of beer (the staff didn’t ask us for ID; I had the biggest mutton chops in Staffordshire, so it wasn’t a problem) and had one of the best nights ever. We felt like we had become men, at a gig, drinking beer, seeing our heroes in the flesh. We weren’t men, but by god I remember that feeling and I wouldn’t take that anyway from little Craig. Amazing memories. 

I’ve not even touched on other points. The memories do it for me, but I will say that Simon Fowler had (and still has now) one of the best male voices that came out of that era. Steve Cradock was (and is even more now) one of the best guitarists of that generation, and the bass playing of Damon Minchella and drumming of Oscar Harrison were one of the most underrated rhythm section pairings of the era. These guys were from Brum, literally round the corner from where our families were that we visited. I felt part of them. Moseley Shoals & B-Sides Seasides & Freerides; two amazing albums yet so different apart, both from the same band.

That’s why I love Ocean Colour Scene. 

Many thanks to Craig Gould for taking the time to write for us. You can listen to Burned in all the usual places on 11th May 2022.

In the meantime, listen to Craig’s last single, Captain Of The Seas. You can help Craig in funding his project here. Remember, all proceeds will be donated to CALM.

Craig Gould: Website / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram / YouTube

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