Ocean Grove/Dream State at Old Blue Last, London - live review

The Gospel - live

Crowd shot

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They only have six songs to their name but melodic hardcore upstarts DREAM STATE [8] have already outgrown this tiny stage. They’re supporting a much heavier band, but their pop-tinged choruses are so infectious that the Welsh quintet win over the room with ease. It’s a Monday night, and freezing outside but OCEAN GROVE [9] couldn’t have wished for a more up-for-it audience. A triumvirate of Beers, Intimate Alien and Lights On Kind Of Lover flirts with alt-rock, hardcore, nu metal and hip hop, and reduces the floor to a mass of sweat and windmilling arms. Feeding on each other’s energy, band and crowd push each other to even more rabid heights. Even after Stratosphere Love brings the set to a close, that atmosphere continues. With the lights up and instruments unplugged, the punters stay put, bellowing for more. And while the stage is swamped by fans high-fiving the band, drummer Sam Bassal crowd surfs to the back of the room. An Ocean Grove gig is like partying with a roomful of your best mates.

Dannii Leivers

Danniii Leivers writes for Classic Rock, Metal Hammer, Prog, The Guardian, NME, Alternative Press, Rock Sound, The Line Of Best Fit and more. She loves the 90s, and is happy where the sea is bluest.