Andy John Bradford's Oceans 5 is a progressive folk rock band fronted by UK singer-songwriter and solo artist Andy John Bradford. 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 Andy had in mind when he approached guitarist Colin Tench, with The Mingulay Boat Song. Colin Tench (BunChakeze, Corvus Stone & The Minstrel’s Ghost) to help out.
They assembled an unlikely band, purely to record this one song, and they produced a version of The Mingulay Boat Song unlike any version 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, and they all agreed that this band has something to say. Andy has a great feel for songwriting and Oceans 5 is proving to be rather good at twisting music into a whole new art form, from bouncy sing-along songs to songs with an epic feel.
The debut album "Return to Mingulay" could be considered a progressive folk rock album with an old fashioned crossover style. Nothing too clever or extreme just oceans of melodies, there are 5 core members in Oceans 5 and although they are all influenced by progressive music they all have very different approaches to composition and style. This combination has resulted in songs that really don’t sound like something you’ve heard before. The music owes more to the “anything goes” philosophy of the 70s than the finely tuned precision of 2013. There are clearly echoes of The Strawbs, Pink Floyd and even Thin Lizzy here.
Side Note: Music should never be a perfect science. It should be a conversation with many opinions, unrestricted by language or bias.
REVIEW EXCERPT FROM PROG ARCHIVES
by Gruvan Dahlman
The album is a very cohesive one, with the gentle vocals of Andy John Bradford, accentuated and accompanied by Colin Tench's beautiful guitar playing. The vocals are gentle, almost frail in a beautiful way. The gentleness and the sometimes roughness of the guitar creates an aural tapestry that is a mix of several bands and artists from the past. I think of Barclay James Harvest, Camel, Fairport Convention, occasionally Supertramp and Kevin Lamb. Still, the influences are there but hey do manage to retain an identity of their very own. The band is as a whole amazing with details coming my way as I listen. The keyboards are also very sensitively played, giving space and depth to the whole thing.