Pacific Ocean Fire
Josh T PearsonEdit this event
- Firebug, Leicester »
Sometimes a journey can be just as much fun as the event it leads to. Not all the time though, especially not when driving to a toilet circuit venue in Leicester, a city where the road map seems to have been scribbled without second thought regarding ‘access’. So, by the time DiS gets to its planned destination, opener Peter Wyeth is reaching the climax of his set, knee deep in looped acoustic guitar riffs and sighed vocals. What is heard sounds impressive, but without a base-point it’s difficult to make a fair judgement.
Pacific Ocean Fire exist somewhere near the midpoint between Snow Patrol and A Silver Mt Zion, mixing understated pop hooks with more ambitious elements. The main problem is the more ambitious the band get, on songs such as 'We'll Land In Flames' (either a homage or a rip-off to the Canadian sextet's ‘God Bless Our Dead Marines’), the more it feels like Pacific Ocean Fire are punching above there weight. 'From The Station To The Church' and others are better, feeling less forced and flowing more comfortably.
You could say they are torn between two sides, something which applies just as accurately to headliner Josh T Pearson. He takes to the stage from the back of the venue and the crowd parts like a certain sea. As Josh wrings out the first few chords of 'The Clash' the mood is surprisingly jovial, but attentive. It's hard not to be, as Josh stamps on various pedals and shrieks into the middle distance, turning the elongated living room of the Leicester Firebug into a sandstorm of fire and brimstone. Which is not to say Josh’s power comes from mere quiet/LOUD changes; it comes, quite clearly, from within. His lyrics are brutally honest and shamelessly autobiographical, though they come across as endearing and not egotistical, as is often the case with ‘peer’ performers.
From the first track onwards, Josh’s endless quest for perfection is evident. He clutches on to each song, giving them new directions and reaching different conclusions each time they are played. That endless false finishes bring no signs of fatigue or boredom from the crowd, basting in almost unbearable heat, is testament to the strength of Josh’s song writing. Yet beyond this Josh has an undeniable, if understated, flair. Between songs he cracks jokes and tells stories that are at a stark contrast to the bleak coffin-air atmosphere his music creates.
As he leads the crowd into a sing-along during set closer ‘The Devil’s On The Run’ he somehow finds a parallel between the two sides of his live show, and it is here where he is at his strongest, delivering lead-heavy confessions with oceans of charisma. Through good and evil, dark and light and all shades in between, Josh T Pearson is one of the truly great songwriters, nay showmen, of our age.