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OCEANS 5

Crossover Prog • United Kingdom


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Oceans 5 biography
When you think of Progressive music, you tend not to imagine a 200 year old traditional tune with sea shanty lyrics. However, "prog" is exactly what Folk Singer/Songwriter Andy John Bradford had in mind when he approached guitarist Colin Tench, with The Mingulay Boatsong.
They assembled an unlikely band, purely to record this one song. They produced a version unlike any version of The Mingulay boatsong heard before. They cared not if anybody actually wanted to hear such a version.
This lineup clearly had great chemistry and despite the fact that they were all busy with their own bands, all agreed that this band has something to say.
Andy has a great feel for songwriting and OCEANS 5 have proved to be rather good at twisting those songs into a whole new form. From bouncy sing-along to slightly epic rock.
The first album 'Return to Mingulay' (released October 7th 2013 on Melodic Revolution records)could be considered a progressive/folk rock album in that good old fashioned crossover style. Nothing too clever, just oceans of melodies, a duck and fun, with a lot of content for those who listen out for it. The playing does not get in the way of the songs.
There are 5 core members in OCEANS 5: Andy John Bradford on Vocals and 12 string acoustic guitar (Solo artist and songwriter), Colin Tench on Guitars (CORVUS STONE, BUNCHAKEZE, THE MINSTREL'S GHOST, CTP), Stef Flaming on Bass guitar (Multi instrumentalist singer and composer behind Rock band MURKY RED in Belgium, also guest with CORVUS STONE), Victor Tassone on Drums and Percussion (Founder member of Progressive rock band UNIFIED PAST), Marco Chiappini on keyboards (THE MINSTREL'S GHOST, CTP & GANDALF's PROJECT). Although they are all influenced by progressive music, all have very different approaches to composition and style. That combination has resulted in songs that really don't sound like anyone else. The music owes more to the "anything goes" 1970s than the finely tuned precision of 2013. There are clearly echoes of THE STRAWBS, PINK FLOYD and even THIN LIZZY here.
****Music should never be a perfect science. It should be a conversation with many opinions, unrestricted by language or bias.****

From the outset, Sonia Mota(known for her artwork with CORVUS STONE), encouraged Oceans 5 and started producing ideas for an album that was still just an idea for Andy and the boys.
Like the music, the art is not typical of any particular definition.
****Maybe Return to M...
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3.93 | 139 ratings
Return to Mingulay
2013

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OCEANS 5 Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Return to Mingulay by OCEANS 5 album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.93 | 139 ratings

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Return to Mingulay
Oceans 5 Crossover Prog

Review by Windhawk
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars Multinational band OCEANS 5 revolves around the creative impulses of UK artist Andy John Bradford, who had been working with a specific concept for The Mingulay Boatsong for some time when he hooked up with fellow musicians online in 2011. This initial collaboration eventually led to a few more song ideas, then the formation of a band, and finally the recording and release of the album "Return to Mingulay" through the US label Melodic Revolution Records in 2013.

"Return to Mingulay" isn't an album that comes across as one with a strict progressive rock interested audience in mind. It will most likely be an advantage to have a certain interest in bands like Jethro Tull and Pink Floyd to be able to enjoy this production of course, but just as important will be to have a taste for compositions with a a core foundation placed well inside the singer/songwriter universe. Those who find that combination to be intriguing should be the ideal audience for this band, and I suspect many who recognize themselves in that description will cherish this album.

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 Return to Mingulay by OCEANS 5 album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.93 | 139 ratings

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Return to Mingulay
Oceans 5 Crossover Prog

Review by Kati

5 stars If anyone would have told me before that I would love a sea shanty inspired folk prog album, I probably would have told them that they must have been smoking their socks. With that said, this album has indeed emotionally grabbed me.

Oceans 5 Return to Mingulay The Mingulay Boat Song - a famous Scottish a sea shanty which is almost 100 years old, this band managed to dismantle the whole song and turned into an epic prog folk song, beautiful and touching. If I best could describe it in short, I would say as Amazing Grace turned Prog with crescendos reminiscent of Floyd Welcome to the Machine however in a more romantic weird kind of version. I personally love the lead and response between the vocals and guitar, the guitars emphasise the vocals even more. This song lifts you up and carries you away. The guitars even sound like bagpipes at the beginning (right at the start) of the song.

Whitby Smugglers Song I hear Popeye tune here hahaha this is such a likable track, I cannot stop bouncing, I would call this a trigger happy track, drums going tum te ti tum tack almost constantly while guitar whistles away and the vocalists singing along while my head keeps bouncing from side to side, highlights here are the guitar and drum solos and bass guitar every now and then having his say. Again the Vocals and Guitar play lead and respond while the drums make you bounce happily.

Empty Hands Ah this is more a upbeat rock track, so many guitar layers inc. whistling like sounds, with the distinctive feel as above vocals and guitar do play lead and response however here the guitar in contrast to the rest plays quite sensitive tunes added with rhythmic spot on farting notes. An upbeat song with clever guitar tapping, whistling and levels that seem to lift you up and continuing to lift you a little further up and even more up.

Invictus Captain of My Soul This is such great rhythmic song. This reminds me very much of Johnny Clegg and also of Paul Simon with Graceland album. I really enjoy the constant drum clicking/galloping sound and again the guitar stands out here.

Sails of the Bay Ah the acoustic guitar is brought out here added to the electric guitar, it feels a cross between Bon Jovi ' Blaze of Glory with added naughty Al DiMeola guitar tapping. And it builds up into a most stunning crescendo that keeps going up a level and another plus yet another one. Dancing with the Rhythm of the Shores Hahaha this is a happy track! The start somehow reminded me of Come on Eileen by Dexy's Midnight Runners,

6000friends 6000 Friends starts with great guitars whistling and when vocals start both vocals and guitar play lead and response, I love the pauses here. I tend to focus more on instrumentals than lyrics, however this song is quite simplified and I personally can relate to the lyrics about having so many friends on social network yet at home feeling alone. Lorelei McBroom vocals (from Pink Floyd and Great Gig in the Sky performance) seals this song.

Fly away This is one of my ultimate favourite songs of the album. I will not go into more details as I too have had enough of my briefing and opinion. Stunning, great build up (crescendo) I would describe it with having the most sensitive touches and great build ups.. Anyway, I sincerely think this album as diverse it may seem, it certainly is deserving of 5 stars, I cannot fault this, I have enjoyed replaying it constantly yet nothing makes me feel bored nor annoyed, quite the contrary, I listen to every single note on this album and each time love it more, giving me the most wonderful feeling listening to this bouncy, dreamy bedlam prog while some none prog yet this mix is the best of all, makes me feel so happy, really warm happy bubbly feeling from within. This album also seems to be a big favourite among my party guests, prog and none prog friends.

Many thanks and friendly regards, Kati

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 Return to Mingulay by OCEANS 5 album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.93 | 139 ratings

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Oceans 5 Crossover Prog

Review by Acousticdreamer

5 stars I'm a fan of most kinds of music and listen to a lot daily. There are a couple of tests I use when listening to an album. 1: can I listen to it more than once?, 2: Can I listen to it all the way through in the car? The answer to both these questions is an enthusiastic YES. This album is brilliant with a fresh and hugely entertaining look at a couple of old traditionals "The Mingulay Boat Song, and the Whitby Smugglers Song" Andy John Bradford, a man from Yorkshire and popular singer/songwriter in the folk scene and songwriters scene of Yorkshire and now in Ireland where he now live, is the main songwriter of this album bringing a blend of folk, rock and mesmerizing stories coupled with an intoxicating vocal. Colin Tench "The co- collaborator on the arrangements of many of the tracks adds his own twist with his beautiful guitar melodies and layers which brings a lift and an atmosphere similar to the likes of Gilmore. Marcos quirky keys are touching at times, bringing real depth and emotion to the music. The rest of the band add depth and bring their own interpretation of what they hear. As a result you can tell these musicians from different parts of the globe, and different styles, are fully in tune with the music they are playing and upon listening, one finds yourself imagining the imagery laid down on each track. From the very first note to the very last track, one is taken on a ride which for me will be a part of my life for a long time to come.

Hurry up and get a tour going, I'd love to see you live gents!!

This is a MUST HAVE ALBUM. Even if you are not a fan of the folk scene, you should enjoy this wonderful Album. BUY IT!!! Nuff said.

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 Return to Mingulay by OCEANS 5 album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.93 | 139 ratings

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Oceans 5 Crossover Prog

Review by Matti
Collaborator Neo-Prog Team

3 stars The cover design is very wonderful (by Sonia Mota, known in PA too), but a little minus for the band in the clouds, which is a bit out of place artistically. So, as is said before, Oceans 5 is a recording project gathered around British singer-songwriter Andy John Bradford. I didn't know him or any of the artists and their groups in advance, and I decided to take this music free of expectations or background research. Whether this is progressive rock is open to debate, to say the least. Anyway, it's not a secret that the attention gained in PA is due to the warm and friendly PR activities. Hey, progarchives is even mentioned in the leaflet! :) The spirit of friendship between musical collaborators, and also towards the supporters and the audience, is very underlined in the leaflet's writings.

The music is uplifting and easy-going too. Even the standout song '6000 Friends (With No-One to Love)' avoids sadness that the lyrics could have steered it into. It features Lorelei - A.K.A. Durga? - McBroom who was one of the three ladies on Pink Floyd concerts a couple of decades ago. The vocal part in this song has been written with 'The Great Gig in the Sky' in mind. Pink Floyd associations don't end there: especially the electric guitar of Colin Tench, who also co-composed, mixed and produced this album, has a very strong Gilmour-flavour.

The very first seconds are interesting and nostalgic. "What shall we do to the drunken sailor" is a song I know already from my childhood. The 3-part mini-epic 'The Mingulay Boatsong' (an obvious highlight!) is full of gorgeous melodies reaching singalong grandiosity and some superb musicianship on guitars and keyboards. The next song is too much country-flavoured southern rock to impress me, and also 'Empty Hands' is quite an average middle-of-the-road tune but again Colin Tench and company lift it up with shiny instrumental moments.

Sorry to say but to my ears Bradford himself as a sniffly vocalist is the weak link. Funnily he sounds older than he probably is, and his songwriting is somehow limited too: the melodies are often more or less similar and the songs rely heavily on choruses. I presume it's especially Colin Tench who has turned this work from "no interest for a prog listener at all" into something more spicy and delicious. The playing and production are really excellent, but the songs themselves are basically... hmm, pretty average folk/country-flavoured AOR stuff, to be honest. In one word: nice.

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 Return to Mingulay by OCEANS 5 album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.93 | 139 ratings

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Return to Mingulay
Oceans 5 Crossover Prog

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Crossover Team

5 stars Now, I am a proghead and a metalhead, but to be honest my tastes are actually way more diverse and complex than that, so while the only framed record on my study wall is a 60 year old jazz album, I also listen to and enjoy folk music. Not just folk rock you understand, but good old fashioned folk, and have been known to attend folk clubs (and not just for the real ale). So, when I was presented with this album I was somewhat intrigued as the two main protagonists are from quite different areas as while Andy John Bradford (vocals, 12 string) is a folkie, guitarist Colin Tench is a proghead with a tendency to pull off wonderful runs and plenty of riffs. So what are they doing together?

Apparently Andy wanted to record a version of the 200 years old "Road To Mangulay", and had so much fun with Colin that they decided to make it a project and bring in some others to join in the hilarity. But, in fact this is no laughing matter, as what we have here is an album that in many ways defies normal description, but that's not going to stop me from trying.

At the heart of this album is Andy, and if you just listen to his guitar and vocals and block out everything else you will find music and vocals that could have come straight from the mighty Show of Hands, minus the fiddle. In fact, that one band kept coming to mind as I listened to this, and I kept thinking of the lyrics to "Roots" from 'Witness', "A minister said his vision of hell, is three folk singers in a pub near Wells". Well, I wonder what he would have thought of this as this is folk Jim, but not as we know it. So, firstly they brought together a band to give this a much fuller sound, and then decided to let Colin have his way. There are times when he is hardly playing, just the odd touch here and there, and others where he is right in your face and the combination of folk, prog and classic rock come crashing together into something that very special indeed.

If I had to pick just one prog band as a reference then it would be Floyd, especially with some of the Gilmour style noodlings, and they convinced Lorelei McBroom to add some of her very special vocals to "6000 Friends". But, that is just one standout track among many, and if like me you have eclectic tastes, or if you just enjoy great music whatever the style then take it from me this is immediate, accessible, and above all an incredible piece of work. For more details visit www.bunchakeze.com/Oceans5.php - you won't regret it.

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 Return to Mingulay by OCEANS 5 album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.93 | 139 ratings

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Oceans 5 Crossover Prog

Review by Tarcisio Moura
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Colin Tench asked me to hear his most recently project he was working on. I really didn´t know anything about this group, neither was I aware of the work of singer/songwriter Andy john Bradford. However, I was quite pleased with what I heard: a kind of mix of folk, country, rock, prog and pop, all lead by Bradford´s laid back vocals and his 12 string acoustic guitar. On all the tracks he is backed by a very good group of musicians that includes, of course, Colin Tench on guitar, Marco Chiappini (keyboards), Stef Flaming (bass) and Victor Tassone (drums), plus Andres Guazzelli on piano and orchestrations. The results are quite charming, melodic and convincing, specially if you like folk rock. So the likes of Neil Young, early Al Stewart, Fairport Convention and the like comes to mind (a feeling quite enhanced by the use of 70´s vintage keyboards timbres). Still, the music here is quite original.

I´m sure a lot of people on ProgArchives will not like Oceans 5 music: they will probably say it is too melodic, too straight ahead folksy and/or too predicable. Granted, there is very little prog in here: the songs are short, rarely going beyond the five minute mark, and as all the folk based stuff is, the importance given to the narrative is paramount. so there is not much space for long solos or tempo changes and complicated arrangements. However, with excellent musicans like that, those spaces are very well used every time they do show, with Tench and Chiappini filling in with tasteful and skilled guitar and keyboards lines, while the rhythm section gives a strong base to pump up the songs to new heights.

There are no real highlight on this CD: all the songs are all very good and the tracklist is quite harmonic. But if you asked me what my favorites songs on this album is I´ll probably cite the slightly different Dancing With The Rhythm Of The Shore and the beautiful, plaintive Sails Off The Bay (VERY nice Gilmour-like solo here, Colin!), two very strong tunes where the musicians show what they can do inside a simple, but efficient, song structure. The production is simply perfect, with all the voices and instruments very well balanced (again the feeling of a modern version of a 70´s very organic recording comes to mind).

So, if you like folk rock, or anything very melodic and tasteful, this is surely an album to get. I was tempted to rate this album 3 stars since there is hardly ony "real" prog in it (as for symphonic prog or RIO fans are concerned). Personally I´d give 4,5 stars. So a 4 star rating is maybe a little high for this site, but still I recommend this CD to any prog lover who, like me, thinks that great melodies and some simplicity are not an insult to prog.

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 Return to Mingulay by OCEANS 5 album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.93 | 139 ratings

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Return to Mingulay
Oceans 5 Crossover Prog

Review by BrufordFreak

3 stars An album of nice Southern (or perhaps Country) Folk Rock in the vein of THE BAND, THE OZARK MOUNTAIN DAREDEVILS, or THE NITTY GRITTY DIRT BAND, perhaps even The Atlanta Rhythm Section, Guy Manning or the Dixie Dregs, with some exceptional electric guitar soloing from the exquisitely talented Colin Tench, no more, no less. But, is this really prog? I think not. While I could recommend this music to standard rock music lovers, this is not something I would recommend to the PA crowd of progressive rock music lovers.

Favorite songs: "Sails Off The Bay" and "6000 Friends."

3 stars: Good, but non-essential.

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 Return to Mingulay by OCEANS 5 album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.93 | 139 ratings

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Review by DrömmarenAdrian

3 stars This record has got a fine reputation from other reviewers and of course they made me curious to find out how thir record worked on me. Andy John Bradford is a British singer/songwriter who sings and seems to have written these compositions. This record "Return to Mingulay" from 2013 by Oceans 5 is 53 minutes long and is played by Andy John Bradford(vocals and 12 string guitarist), Colin Tench(guitars), Stef Flaming(bass), Victor Tassone(drums and percussion) and Marco Chiappini(keyboards). With the artwork and especially the name I had wanted more of folk in this rock.

The first track was really enjoyable. "The Mingulay Boatsong" is an old famous ballad which I like very much and this was a different version of it. The singing was traditional and I enjoyed the vocal and beside a traditional approach the additional instrumentation was progressive. Though do I prefer even more traditional versions of the song. This was unfortunately the best song of the album. That folk approach do I miss on the rest. Next track "The Whitby smugglers song" was also enjoyable and I would classify it as something as unusual as country prog. Then comes a bunch of both decent and quite boring tracks of which "Invictus Captain of my soul" is a great track, the instrumentation is praisable such as in "Fly away". I consider the tracks seven and eight the least interesting tracks.

I am glad others appreciated this record but I didn't do it very much. I like something in the concept: a prog band and a singer/songwriter but I don't find it progressive, unfortunately. The balance of progressivity wasn't in my very taste. As I wrote first track is interesting, now I'm going further to listen to something else.

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 Return to Mingulay by OCEANS 5 album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.93 | 139 ratings

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Oceans 5 Crossover Prog

Review by Scott Brownstone

5 stars Andy John Bradford's Oceans 5 ~ Return To Mingulay

Normally when one thinks of a genre and decides to waffle over a sub-genre for an album... they will eventually pigeon hole it somewhere. That is how many minds work.

Those who do suffer from genre overload will be happy to know that there is no genre for the album. Give it a good listen and I think you will agree.

Return to Mingulay is accessible to all ages and audiences. It can be listened to anywhere and with anyone. Whether it is with three generations of family around the fire or in your car while driving to work. Every track is a pleasure to listen to and there is no need to listen to every track in order as is often the case in "prog" releases.

Andy John Bradford's Oceans 5 is the brainchild of AJB. He has surrounded himself with like minded and goodhearted musicians who have each added their own flavor to the mix. This is not your average group. Special guests musicians such as Lorelei McBroom of Australian Pink Floyd and Andres Guazzelli add even more to this great mix.

Colin Tench of Corvus Stone/BunChakeze/CTP Marco Chiapinni of Gandalf's Project Stef Fleming of Murky Red and Victor Tassone of Unified past are all brilliant in their own right.

Yes, we may know it is Andy's voice and not Lorelei's and we may say things like "hmmm that is a Colin Tench riff there", but none of the tracks sound like anything I have heard from any of the above mentioned artists/bands.

There is no way to explain the likability factor of this album even to myself. Something just sticks and you wake up with it in your head and before you know it you're singing it in the shower. It's happened to me and sometimes I shake my head and say "this can't be happening". I suspect subliminal messages.

6000 Friends should be a released as a single if it hasn't already in this reviewers humble opinion; however, each song on "Return to Mingulay" stands alone so there is the possibility that some single releases may be warranted.

Additionally, the flow of the album is amazing if you enjoy listening to something in it's entirety as I do.

Sonia Mota (aka Oceans 6th) created the spectacular Album Cover Artwork. The knowledge of Mingulay combined with her knowledge of music / history create a vivid accompaniment to the music. The ship moving towards what seems it's inevitable end. Their shining countenances from on high saying... " HA,,, Not this time! "

Make time to take a good look at the art whilst listening. There is much more than than meets the eye on first take. Here is where I feel comfortable using the word "prog". The depth and meaning of the art is reminiscent of many classic "prog" albums because it allows the viewers/listeners to decide for themselves what means what.

Discussing each tracks individual nuances or going on about my opinions of what sounds like this group and so on seems counterproductive. Instead I'd like to simply suggest that you just enjoy the music and art and take away from it your feelings and thoughts. That is why these great people got together and made this masterpiece.

They certainly didn't do it because they wanted to send a message to the world or make money. They did it for all of us and for the love of music and the arts.

Their soulfulness is clear once you decide to listen and not just hear.

Sea shanty music this is not. Songs that will stand the test of time and harmonies that will make your spine tingle are in your near future.....

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 Return to Mingulay by OCEANS 5 album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.93 | 139 ratings

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Oceans 5 Crossover Prog

Review by Moonintroll

5 stars What can I say about this Album!!! It is STUNNING to coin a word. From the opening track with the atmospheric guitars, seaguls, and fantastic guitar work brought by the fabulous (God) known as Colin Tench (Bunchakeze, CTP, The Mintstrels Ghost) The album mainly focuses on the sea and a dream of taking sail. with vocals to match the amazing musicianship that all the musicians show in this brilliant album. Italso features the talents of Stef Flaming (Murky Red) Marco Chiapini (Gandalfs Project, The Minstrels Ghost) Victor Tassone (Unified Past) Vocals come from Andy John Bradford ( A Solo Singer/Songwriter and the man behind most of the songs) The Album was mixed by the brilliant Colin Tench who thuogh still learning techniques, has clearly got a flare for mixing and mastering. This is BEAUTIFULLY MIXED ALBUM with a WALL OF SOUND filling your ears from the very first note.

Highlight tracks for me? They have to be Empty hands, with fabulous lyrics, 6000 Friends who also feature the vocals of Lorelei McBroom of Pink Floyd fame, and Rod Stewart fame, plus the Rolling Stones, (to name a few) It goes to show that quality attracts quality. The other highlight for me was the quirky Invictus Captain of my soul with strong and rhythmic percussion mixed with well thought out keyboards which lead the song all the way through.

This is a very well thought out Album, it flows at a nice pace and you never find yourself skipping from track to track. It is a feel good Album, pure entertainment, pure passion, pure Joy!!!

I can't recomend it enough which is why I give it 5 stars!!! BUY IT

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Thanks to marty mcfly; lucas for the artist addition.

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