Exactly six months after a sell out show at the exact same venue, Osees (formerly Oh Sees, Thee Oh Sees, The Ohsees, Orange County Sound, OCS, Orinoka Crash Suite…) return to The Crossing in Digbeth to begin their European tour.
Support comes from Wolverhampton’s God Damn, who are clearly thrilled to be sharing the stage. Through heavily distorted vocals, frontman Thom Edward shouts his praise for the Birmingham and Black Country psych and garage scene. Local gig regulars have seen God Damn evolve over the years, and tonight it feels like they’ve reached their final form.
Bludgeoning riffs backed by Hannah Al-Shemmeri’s squalling synths are the perfect warm up for the evening. After shushing the excitable crowd during the intro, Edward launches into ‘Shit Guitar’ and is met with a gleeful singalong to the chorus.
Osees start their set a little early after a brief line check, but everyone floods back in from the smoking area in time to hear the opening bars of ‘I Come from the Mountain’. Their high speed sound feels unhinged, barely held together by sheer momentum. Shrill guitar and whirling keys whip the crowd into a predictable frenzy.
Frontman John Dwyer is a joy to watch. He roams from the mic to the synthesiser, returning to unplug his guitar and hold the live jack against a ride cymbal, then busting out the squeaky toy for ‘The Daily Heavy’.
As the set progresses, the Osees reveal themselves to be a carefully constructed, well-oiled juggernaut. While each song crackles with chaotic energy, it always meets ground and there’s no doubt about where that happens.
Front and centre the whole time are drummers Dan Rincon and Paul Quattrone on matching gold and silver kits. They are hypnotic. Dripping with sweat as the set moves past the hour mark, Rincon and Quattrone remain perfectly in sync as Dwyer bounces around to stage right. Trading fills at the opening of ‘Jettisoned’ or wading through the sludge of ‘Toe Cutter-Thumb Buster’, the pair are enthralling.
Referring to the drummer as “the beating heart of the band” is a lazy music-journo cliche that the good people at Birmingham Review would never stoop to. But boy, if it’s ever been true, it’s tonight.
For more from the Osees (Oh Sees) visit their website: www.theeohsees.com
For more from Midlands own God Damn take a look at: www.goddamntheband.com
To see what’s going on at The Crossing in Digbeth go to: www.thecrossingdigbeth.co.uk