British Sea Power
It’s hard to fathom that British Sea Power now have five albums under their belts. Originally surfacing at the turn of the century, they were largely regarded as oddball eccentrics, more concerned with the identikit nature and studied cool of the garage rock revival. But while many of their contemporaries have long since disappeared, BSP have made a deep connection with an audience that have never quite let go. Tonight’s show in their adopted hometown stands as a celebration of their longevity.
Now elder statesmen of a once thriving scene that desperately needs life breathed into it, their show has calmed down in madness and the once decorative foliage and bear that accompanied them onstage has been retired; such gimmicks are not required when you have a full blooded set of rippling and often overlooked classics locked away. With tonight’s committed, easy-on-the-ear performance, the quintet show that they are in essence a cult band with a fine selection of turn-of-the-century guitar pop songs and a knack for writing about unconventional subjects. Tonight ‘hits’ – such as ‘Fear of Drowning’ and ‘Remember Me’ from 2003 debut ‘The Decline of…’ – are aired to appease the more casual fan, alongside a spattering of less commonly known later material such as last year’s ‘Living Is So Easy’. Against our better judgement, BSP are still around, and the world is richer for it.
By Nathan Westley
Originally published in issue 33 (vol 3) of Loud And Quiet. November 2011.