The Vines Live Ocean (London 2002) video avi + rip mp3

No. 1: Craig Nicholls is a genius. Touched by the same melodic muse as McCartney and Wilson, bedevilled by the same angst and punk-rock fury as Cobain.No. 2: They start off slowly. Reviews constantly refer to the lacklustre nature of their opening few songs. No matter which songs they choose.No. 3: The world is in the midst of Vinesmania. This is an idea originating from the NME in a desperate attempt to convince its dwindling demograph that it actually matters.
This gig is an exploder of myths.
After strolling on to the stage, the band rip straight into ‘Outtathaway’. It’s genuinely exciting. Shorn of the Nirvana-esque noodley scratchings of its recorded version, Hamish Rosser’s motown beat pounds relentlessly. Everyone goes nuts. Including Nicholls, who begins to writhe and yelp just like the lazy-eyed manchild we’ve all seen on the ‘Get Free’ video. It’s a great beginning. But then it goes a bit wrong. Acoustic guitars are strummed, a few arms are raised. Craig gurns a little more serenely. It’s ‘Autumn Shade’, a highlight of the album, but here something of a letdown after the high octane thrills of ‘Outtathaway’. It’s country, beatific, boring. It’s terribly nice.
The pattern is set. Fast paced rockers such as ‘Get Free’, ‘In the Jungle’ and ‘Highly Evolved’ race by, full of passion and vigour. The crowd goes crazy, everyone is excited, and we all feel like the world will collapse in on itself under the weight of its own beauty. Then on walks Ryan Griffiths to strum a G chord and everyone gets bored. This is a good policy if you want to give your fans a breather, but the fact that Nicholls seems intent upon shifting down gear at every opportunity prevents any sense of continuity. The fact that these slower songs are dull and samey doesn’t really help either, for shorn of the lush harmonies allowed by studio production, songs such as ‘Country Yard’ and ‘Homesick’ seems to lack any real effervescence or grace. These are songs which should fly away, and they should take you somewhere with them. But how can they reach any sort of transcendence when only Craig’s admittedly wonderful guitar strives for something more. What’s more, the melodies are startlingly predictable; Craig Nicholls is not a song-writing genius, he just loves Nirvana’s version of ‘The Man Who Sold the World’.
And yet for all the mid-paced tedium, the harder songs really do rock. ‘1969’ is truly spectacular, full of explosions and caterwauling, propelled Rosser and Patrick Matthews’ hard and tight rhythm section, this is music full of twist and turns. You can get lost in this. And for once Nicholls’ slack jawed mad-professor stage look seems real. Why then the reliance on slower songs? Perhaps Craig Nicholls has come to believe his own hype. Or perhaps this is where his heart really lies. He’s already professed that he loves the studio, and these simpler songs allow for the kind of space over which any number of luscious harmonies could wash.
But at the end of the day, it’s the rock that kills. The crowd comes in hopeful, they want to be won over. They want to believe. But The Vines fail to convince. When Nicholls gives you what you want it’s incredible, but all too often he seems unwilling. It’s like having a partner who’s amazing in bed but only wants to hold your hand.

Download video avi – servidor:megaupload
Download audio mp3 – servidor:megaupload

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