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

The Gospel - live

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.