The Ocean Party have embarked on their farewell tour as a band, beginning with tonight's sold out show at Howler. Besides being a farewell, this show was also the launch of the Nothing Grows EP, which were songs written by Zac Denton before he passed away last year that the rest of the band finished on his behalf.
Opening the evening was Melbourne band Cool Sounds, who came out on stage wearing t-shirts from different eras of The Ocean Party. Besides playing their own songs, they also threw in a few songs by Zac, who used to be a member. There was a lot of support for the band in the crowd, and they finished their set by inviting Ashley Bundang to join them singing the Ciggie Witch track "Wrong Crowd."
The Ocean Party's set was split into two parts. For the first section they played the Nothing Grows EP in full, bringing out musician friends to sing lead vocals on most of the tracks. It was the final song "Birth Place," which was sung by Zac's partner Mashara, that packed the biggest emotional punch.
After a short break the band came back out for what they termed a "greatest hits" set. Each band member took turns singing songs from their back catalogue, with highlights for me being the dolewave track "Quarter Life Crisis" off the album Split, "Deluded" and "Head Down" from Soft Focus, "Guess Work" off the Light Weight album, the title track "Restless," and "Rain On Tin" and "White Cockatoo" off their latest album The Oddfellows' Hall. For such a prolific band that also has members playing in other bands, they spoke about knowing songs were meant for The Ocean Party because they were the honest ones. For the last song of the night they invited friends and people from the audience up on stage to sing one of Zac's first singles with the band, the now anthemic "Split." Although it's sad to see the band finishing up under these circumstances, I'm sure they will all continue to make music in one form or another. Farewell The Ocean Party - you will be missed.
Here's the video for "Rain On Tin"