Ocean Grove - Sheffield


Following the cancellation of the Sheffield leg of Don Broco’s Birthday Party tour, tour openers Ocean Grove were left with a free evening in their schedule. Did they decide to take a night off? Absolutely not. Instead, they decided to put together a last-minute show at Sidney & Matilda in Sheffield. Not only that, but they decided to make it free entry! I definitely couldn’t pass this one up so I got my free tickets reserved, and I’m glad I did as they all sold out!

Before I get to Ocean Grove’s mighty performance, I first have to mention the support for this show. Opening for the night was Sheffield’s very own Air Drawn Dagger. I’ve had the pleasure of seeing these guys live a few years back when I was a little more active around the scene and it’s fantastic to see how much they have grown.

Their set featured some great energy and was the perfect way to warm everybody up for the main act. Their set was incredibly tight and you can really feel the love and passion that they bring to the table.

Pictured above, Lewis and Maisie from Air Drawn Dagger.

Vocalist Maisie has a fantastic stage presence that brings with it plenty of charisma and emotion, all whilst showcasing her vocal ability brilliantly. A personal highlight for me was watching her come off stage to perform a song in the crowd, right in front of where I was standing no less! Their banter in between songs was light-hearted and fun and got a couple of laughs out of me.

I will admit that I was a little sceptical as to how they would sound without a bass (being a bassist myself), seeing as they’re only a 3 piece featuring a vocalist, guitarist and drummer. I have to say though, they really make it work. The drumming was excellent and didn’t miss a beat. Lewis the guitarist was also great to watch, providing plenty of vocal harmonies along with his guitar performance. Not only that, but Maisie’s captivating performance tops it all off marvellously.

Keep an eye out for Air Drawn Dagger in the future, especially as they have an upcoming show at Leadmill in February next year.


Here comes the main event

Hailing from Melbourne, Australia, Ocean Grove performed an excellent show from start to finish, especially given the last-minute nature of the show. As all of their albums are certified bangers from start to finish, it becomes a treat for the fans to know that the set is only going to feature the best songs.

Shortly following Princess Superstar’s song ‘Perfect’ over the speakers to get the crowd dancing, the lads jump on stage to thunderous applause and cheers to go straight into ‘JUNKIE$’, a song off their incredible 2020 album Flip Phone Fantasy (if you haven’t listened to this album you’re seriously missing out).

It’s smiles all around, you can easily see that the Ocean Grove boys are over the moon to be back at Sidney & Matilda, an intimate venue with plenty of charm. Once that song was finished they went straight into ‘Superstar’, the opening track from Flip Phone Fantasy and one of my personal favourites.

A common issue with smaller venues such as this, is usually the quality of the sound system, and how much one can clearly hear. This helps when you’re a larger band and your fans know the songs you’re about to perform, but I still wish the vocals were a tad louder from the set. However, this was negated by the audience participation, and the energy from the crowd was electric. Lead vocalist Dale is an excellent hype man and there was a clear connection between the artist and audience throughout the entire set, something surprisingly difficult to pull off.

I was very happy to hear when they announced they were going to play a couple of tracks off their 2017 album, The Rhapsody Tapes. I was also over the moon about the fact that they played ‘Thunderdome’, the song which got me into Ocean Grove in the first place, all the way back in 2017 (the music video is fantastic, definitely check it out).

My personal highlight from the set was ‘Guys from the Gord’, a song which allows Sam to really show off his talents as a drummer. This song has a drastically different feel to the rest of their catalogue with its high energy, futuristic sounding, hard-hitting nature. They even incorporated a little drum solo here which only further shows Sam’s talents.

The rest of their set included songs such as ‘Neo’, which saw bassist Twiggy and vocalist Dale swap roles for the duration of the track. This is so much more than a mere gimmick as Twiggy’s vocal style really switches it up enough to sound distinct, whilst still sounding cohesive with the Ocean Grove sound. Other songs included ‘Sex Dope Gold’, ‘Cali Sun’, and ‘Silver Lining’ slowing things down towards the end. Finishing up the set is their most uplifting song, ‘Sunny’. With the warmth in the room, it definitely felt like Ocean Grove had brought the Melbourne sunshine with them, and was a fantastic way to end up the set. I must say it was quite entertaining watching Dale crowd surf and crawl across the venue’s low ceiling.

What a brilliant show this was, both bands absolutely smashed it out of the park, especially given the last-minute nature of the show. Ocean Grove has a fantastic back catalogue of music that I would recommend to absolutely anyone, and with them teasing new music just around the corner, now really is the best time to give them a listen.