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Port Erin - Ocean Grey

  by Benjamin Howarth

published: 12 / 6 / 2017

Port Erin - Ocean Grey
Label: Burning Shed Records
Format: CD


Enthralling jazz and post rock-influenced third album from Port Erin who spent last year working as Nick Harper's backing band

Through ten years as a band and over 600 shows, Port Erin have quietly turned themselves into one of the most impressive live bands in the country. This saw them invited to become the backing band for the hard gigging Nick Harper through 2016 – a meeting of minds, given both Port Erin and Harper’s incessant genre hopping. Now, 2017 offers them a chance to introduce Harper’s devoted fanbase to their own work, with the release of their third album ‘Ocean Grey’. Anyone who decides to check out this ‘backing band’ will quickly realise that they have a considerable amount to offer with their own material. You suspect that their roots in a tiny West country village (Broughton Gifford) are the main reason they are not already well known. Though an album of six extended tracks with lengthy instrumental passages doesn’t, at first, imply an easy listen, ‘Ocean Grey’ gives you a warm welcome from the off. Although their obvious love of jazz improvisation and freeform post-rock defines every track, this is a focused record where melody is never sacrificed. Joining the trio of two Myles Tyghe brothers (Reuben and Jacob) and a drummer (Cerys Brocklewood) are a handful of guests who lend texture and nods to jazz – with Pete Judge’s trumpet on opening track ‘The Fuzz and All That They Feed’ laying a gauntlet down for the rest of the record. I was hooked from the opening chords and have not tired of this sound after multiple repeat plays. I’m reminded of the swagger of vintage period Echo and the Bunnymen, the brooding intensity of their underrated contemporaries The Sound, the measured control of ‘Hail to the Thief’ era Radiohead and – yes- I can’t help but think occasionally of the first two Coldplay albums. But I wouldn’t waste too much time comparing Port Erin to other bands. Indeed, you don’t really ‘criticise’ exceptional albums like this – you just sit back and bask in them. Highly, highly recommended.

Track Listing:-
1 The Fuzz & All That They Feed
2 Chaos In The Streets
3 Just Like TV
4 Higher Higher
5 Half-Cut Moon
6 Ocean Grey

Band Links:-

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Interview (2017)
Port Erin - Interview
As Port Erin prepared for a set at Glastonbury and the release of their excellent fourth album ‘Ocean Grey’, Ben Howarth speaks to Reuben Myles Tyghe, the frontman of the west country three-piece Port Erin to learn more about their ten years as a band

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