We Are The Ocean Live at Camden Barfly

w/ Giants

Barfly, Camden
19th September 2012

Giants have been gigging for sometime and have firmly established themselves as a band to be watched with their latest effort, the mini-album, ‘These Are The Days‘. The Essex band storm the stage with Ed Parker, their highly energetic front man, leading the charge. The riffs are fast and heavy, the bass shakes your teeth, and this mash up of skate punk and hardcore blast your brains out of your ears (but in a good way, if you can imagine that?). You can see that hardly anyone in this room had heard of them before tonight, but one thing is for sure, they won the crowd over completely by the time they left the stage. They are definitely ones to keep an eye on.

Giants Live Barfly

Giants Live Barfly

Then it’s time for the headline act to take to the stage. We Are The Ocean have lost a vocalist since I last saw them, and I’m not quite sure what to expect from the live performance. The band start with ‘Machine’, a solid new track, and the crowd loves it. However, the set comprises the old for the new, and although the bands new screamless line-up is as polished and as slick as Simon Cowells hair, yet there is definitely something missing…

The real problem lies in the fact that the new material is lacking edgey excitement and anxiety. You wait for the songs to reach their heights and then burst through a barrier and stand balls out in front of you, but they don’t. Now that’s not to say the performance is bad, in fact the band are great, it’s the simple fact that they’re not We Are The Ocean anymore. They’ll be people wanting to guillotine me for saying this, but if it was another band you couldn’t complain about the evening. It’s when they stand they’re old material up against their new that you see a sort of sleek and polished decline, and the fact they’re missing that raw, rasping voice in certain parts to push the songs into the stratosphere is noticed.

Like I said, if this was any other band and you’d have had me singing praises. I just have such fond memories of other live shows of theirs that this one was more of a damp squib. Regardless the new line-up works as a polished unit, its just not We Are The Ocean of old.

We Are The Ocean Live Barfly

We Are The Ocean Live Barfly

We Are The Ocean Live Barfly

We Are The Ocean Live Barfly

Words: JJ Nattrass
Photos: Alex Langworthy

Polar Bear Club live at Borderline

Into It. Over It.
The Arteries

The Borderline, London
31st August 2012


As the opening band, The Arteries finish their hardcore and clear up all the gear, a bearded man emerges begins to sets up, checks if everything’s in working order and sits on his stool addressing the audience. The man is Into it. Over it, the sole operation of Evan Thomas. The first thing he says is, “So how many of you know I’m actually an acoustic act?”. Personally it comes as a surprise as the album is raging pop-punk. Its soon revealed that he records everything but tours as a single unit, just one man and his guitar. It was a tad strange I must admit, most of the other newbies probably felt the same. A hardcore band just left the stage and the crowd in a sweaty state, the headline act are gonna go mental, yet there’s an acoustic act sandwiched between it all?

Those apprehensive in the audience were quickly converted. Evan charged through his set, with such energy and passion as though he was fronting a full band. You could feel his passion, every song he had was attached with some kind of emotional story with the crowd are left to immerse themselves in the song as he crashed through it. Into It. Over It. Are a different kind of acoustic act, this guy was shredding and singing along with such energy that he struggled to sit still on the stool! The Arteries didn’t take the mosh pits with them, even Evan kept the crowd going.

You can always tell when the headline act grace the stage. Always. The atmosphere shifts, the crowd start to roar and everyone’s ready to tear the place apart. And of course, the same was experienced at the Borderline. Tonight is Polar Bear Club’s night, they own the this tiny basement of a venue in heart of London.

Borderline couldn’t have been a better choice of venue. Its as intimate as they come, with fans climbing onto shoulders and making their way onto the actual stage, shaking vocalist Jim Sandt’s hand whilst he’s singing, and then taking a platform dive straight back into the pool of people below.

Polar Bear Club powered through a varied set list, mixing classics from ‘Sometimes Things Just Disappear’, the epic, ‘Chasing Hamburg’ to their latest efforts from ‘Clash Battle Guilt Pride’. Whatever the song played on the night, it was received with a roar of an applause and continued stage dive action.

The band finished with the fan favorite ‘Living Saints’ and left for the back room. The crowd then started to sing the ballad, ‘Drifting Thing’. Everyone in the room, shouts as loud as they can to each word from start to finish. A call for an encore doesn’t get better than that!

So low and behold, Jimmy turns up on stage, quickly mentions that their current guitarist is a fill in and he might not know the song, to which a fan fumbles onto the stage and says if he could have a go. He introduces himself, Toby. Toby straps on the guitar, strums an a chord and the crowd erupt. He composes himself and is told, “3 strikes and you’re out kid!”, No pressure right?!

A few miss timings here and there, but the rest is perfect. You have to give the sweaty teenager credit, he’s on stage performing to a sold out crowd! Toby pulled through, Polar Bear Club loved it as did the crowd. This was clearly a stand out show for 2012 so far.

Words: Arif Noor
Photos: Alex Langworthy

Into It. Over It.
Into It. Over It. warming up the crowd at the intimate Borderline
Into It. Over It. warming up the crowd at the intimate Borderline
"My name is Evan and this is Into It. Over It."
Jimmy Stadt
Polar Bear Club working the crowd
PBC getting sweaty at Borderline
PBC's Vocalist Jimmy
Jimmy and fan Toby performing ‘Drifting Thing’ as an encore