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Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Ocean Alley to bring surf rock sounds to Civic

Some “psychedelic surf rockers who make a hell of a mess” will bring a few smooth tunes to Newcastle later this month. 

With hits like Confidence, Infinity, Hot Chicken and my personal favourite Up in There, Ocean Alley is sure put on an incredible show. 

Guitarist Mitch Galbraith said they’re excited to return to Newcastle and take to the Civic Theatre stage. 

The last time the band visited the city was in 2018 for a show at The Cambridge. 

“It’s great to be back,” he said. 

“There was a lot of frustration and disappointment [last year] when we couldn’t do our full year of touring and knowing as well that everything our crew and staff had planned wasn’t going to happen, all that hard work with no return.

“It feels great and it is encouraging that the bigger festivals are getting put on, so hopefully we can go back to normal soon.” 

He added the pandemic had been an interesting time for the band. 

“It wasn’t too stressful for us, we managed to just hunker down during lockdown and write new music,” he said.

“And, when the lockdown finished we managed to get away for a few weeks and meet up together and do some rehearsals and some writing.

“But, apart from that, it was a good break to catch up with our family, we probably wouldn’t have given ourselves the break, so the fact that it was forced on us meant we felt better not playing shows than if we had taken a break ourselves.” 

They definitely made use of their time on pause though, the group released its third album, Lonely Diamond last year which has amassed more than 350 million streams. 

“It felt nice to release it out into the world even though we couldn’t tour it,” Mitch said. 

“We were bummed we couldn’t go out and tour it but we had the music finished and the record done, so we thought it would be mean of us to withhold it from everyone.” 

According to Mitch, the band is keen to get back on the road and play these new songs.  

“We’ll be playing a lot of our songs from the Lonely Diamond which we haven’t had the chance to tour much yet, so people may not have heard some of those songs,” he said. 

“We’re super keen for this year, because of the current situation we won’t be going overseas very much, international tours are sort of off the cards.

“So, I am sure we’ll be spending much more time at home and travelling to places like Newcastle and Tamworth and Batemans Bay for gigs.

“We’re looking forward to spending some time in Australia and touring hard here so at least Aussies can get their live music fix.”

When Ocean Alley first started out its members Baden Donegal, Angus Goodwin, Nic Blom, Lachlan Galbraith, Tom O’Brien and Mitch had no idea it would lead to where they are now. 

“I suppose that is one of the reasons we are where we are,” Mitch said.

“We never really had a plan to do this and our goals have always been short term and we always work hard to achieve those – and it has taken us to where we are now.

“There was never a plan to be a massive group or for our music to be so popular we just started jamming in the shed and here we are now.” 

Mitch says their biggest pinch yourself moment was when they played Splendour in the Grass. 

“That year we played Splendour on the main stage in the evening, that was crazy – there was probably 25,000 to 30,000 people watching us,” he said.

“Taking out the Hottest 100 with Confidence is [another highlight], like that was just really special because they’re your peers and everyone votes for that, it’s not an award you win through an agency or so called professionals picking who’s the best.

“It’s a viewer choice and it is really flattering to do so well in those countdowns.” 

Moving forward the band is looking forward to touring and creating more music.

Ocean Alley will play two shows at the Civic Theatre on Friday 26 and Saturday 27 March. Go to the Civic Theatre website for more.

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