On the Road with Ocean Alley

Photos and captions by Kane Lehanneur and Tyler Bell of The Sauce 

Sydney band Ocean Alley have been on a steady ascent since the release of their second album, Chiaroscuro.

They’ve ticked off a sold-out nationwide tour, headlined slots at some of the biggest festivals in Australia, North America and Europe, and they just recently scored the #1 spot in the little known Australian music countdown, Triple J’s Hottest 100. Pretty impressive for a couple of friends who started out jamming together in a backyard shed in Sydney’s beachside suburbs. Friend and photographer Tyler Bell is a permanent fixture on the band’s tour bus and sushi blow-outs, and he gave us a behind the scenes look at life on the road with OA. Take a peek, below.

Group photo of the band taken before a show in Seattle.

Baden and Mitch backstage, moments before they played Splendour in the Grass for the first time. Still today, this was the biggest crowd we’ve ever performed in front of. We’d just got back from a tour in the States, and this was in the middle of winter in Australia. We were struggling with freezing fingers—you can see Mitch on the left trying to warm his hands up.

Onstage in the GW McLennan tent at Splendour In The Grass.

This was our first ever sold out show in America: Denver, Colorado.

This was a show we played in Saskatoon at the Capitol Music Club. I think we sold about 15 tickets to this show…

Before we had the luxury of travelling in a huge tour bus, we toured in vans. There was nine of us in this little van, driving the whole way across America. You can see Terry sleeping across the back row and Mitch in an area of the van we call ‘The Well.’ Mitch is very good at sleeping here. Good on him.

Nongshim Shin Cup Noodle Soup, the staple meal of Ocean Alley when touring. You simply can’t go wrong, perfect for any time of the day.

When we were in Germany, we played a festival called ‘Reeperbahn’ in Hamburg. We played early in the day, then our friends, The Psychadelic Porn Crumpets, played a club show. We were pretty loose, and Chris realised that there was nobody doing lights for the show, so he jumped on and did lights for them. And nailed it.

Angus is the oldest member of the band, and also the most chill. Here he is at our show in Sacramento, making use of the couch very close to the stage, where he sat and played the show.

Anybody who knows us knows how much we love Japanese Food. Once we arrive at a new city, the first thing our restaurant manager does is look up a Japanese restaurant and make plans to hit it after soundcheck. This photo was taken in Portugal at an ‘all you can eat’ style restaurant.

Post-show loadout shenanigans in Boston.

No Bluetooth in the movie room. Baden and Chris hanging in the back room of our tour bus, somewhere in Europe.

Baden crowd surfing during our biggest overseas headline show at The Garage in London.

Cheese and crackers backstage on the Groovin’ The Moo tour.

The boys enjoying some downtime on Magnetic Island, Townsville, at the Groovin’ The Moo artist party.

Chris onboard the Heemskerk in Pittwater during the music video shoot for ‘Knees’.

The last show of our North American tour: the Constellation Room in Santa Ana, California.

This framed image of a seagull was our tour bus mascot throughout Europe/UK.

This was taken on the hazy canals of Amsterdam just before we started to load in for our show.

Veiny and some nice rays of light, courtesy of our lighting man, Dutchy, who also looks identical to Seth Rogan.

Nothing beats a home town show. Playing the Enmore for two sold-out nights is something we will never forget.

Our first Australian show after a huge tour of Europe/UK. This was a nice welcome home. Yours & Owls Festival in Wollongong.

The dreaded cross-load. Because our bus was 20-metres long and we were only playing small venues which couldn’t cater to our bus, we had to find powered parking elsewhere and then ‘cross-load’ into another van, and then load all the gear out of that van and into the venue. Here we are out the back of the Mercedes Benz Area in Berlin, you can see Chris very happy to be cross-loading.

Somewhere in America, late night driving.

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