Ocean Colour Scene need little introduction. Formed in 1989 in Moseley, Birmingham, they went on to achieve great success during the Britpop era, scoring four Top 10 albums (including a number one with Marchin’ Already) and six Top 10 singles. The band continue to tour and record today, both with a full line-up and as a scaled-down acoustic duo featuring Simon Fowler and Oscar Harrison. We caught up with Simon to hear about his dream musical collaborator, supporting Oasis at Knebworth, and his desire to see a hologram version of The Beatles perform.


GIGSLUTZ: Hello Simon. Where are you and what have you been up to this week?

SIMON FOWLER: Not much at the moment.  I’m just watching the tennis and the football: changing between the two.


GS: It’s 25 years since OCS formed – what’s been key to the band’s longevity?

SF: Well a couple of things, really. We have all remained friends, which is very important for success, and I think the other thing is actually being successful. Our Success back in 1996 gave us a reason to stick at it; if the success wasn’t there then who knows if we would still be together?


GS: What are you listening to these days?

SF: Radio 4 and Radio 5… I generally don’t listen to anything contemporary anymore.


GS: You’ve played at festivals all over the world and will be at Split Festival in Sunderland this year – what’s your most memorable festival experience?

SF: It’s got to be supporting Oasis at Knebworth and playing to 125,000 people.  There have been plenty of other good ones since then, however, nothing can really beat 125,000 singing back ‘The Day We Caught The Train’.  The other big one was our first Glastonbury in 1991. I remember standing to the side of the stage and I was very nervous.  When we took to the stage I tried to talk and I got all my words mixed up with the nerves.


GS: Emily Eavis invites you to curate the Main Stage at Glastonbury for a day – who would you book?

SF:  Prince or maybe Neil Young, or even a hologram Beatles.  Like the Tupac thing they did, but with The Beatles, that would be good.


GS:  You have another music project called Merrymouth – what’s happening with that ?

SF:  We are actually playing in Scotland at Belladrum Festival on the 8th of August.  There are no other major plans, but we will be back when schedules allow.  We are all really looking forward to it.


GS:  If you could pick any other musician to collaborate with, who would it be?

SF: Neil Young. I would probably be too scared, mind you.  I met him once and all I could manage to nervously say was ‘thank you for changing my life’.


GS: What can we expect from your set at Split Festival and what’s next for the band?

SF:  It’s just Oscar and myself.  In terms of what’s next for Ocean Colour Scene, we are heading out in February/March time, along with a string quartet which is new for us.


Simon & Oscar from Ocean Colour Scene will play an acoustic set at Split Festival, Mowbray Park, Sunderland on Saturday 9th August. Tickets are available here: http://www.split-music.co.uk/


Paul Sng


Paul Sng

Paul Sng

Editor-at-large, Brighton. Likes: Lee Hazlewood, Lee Hazlewood songs and Lee Hazlewood's moustache Dislikes: Celery, crap nostalgia and people who raise their voice when speaking as if they're asking a question?