British Sea Power
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While others are happy to play guerrilla gigs on tube trains or a hedonistic live session at someone else’s home, British Sea Power, it seems, prefer to go that extra aesthetic mile. The beautiful scenic woodland area surrounding High Rocks** makes it a highly unusual venue more suited to hosting wedding receptions and 18 year old’s coming of age birthday parties. But it’s the remoteness and quaint appeal that makes it unsurprising our nature loving heroes should chose such place to play a gig. And it’s this very nature of the band that sees the hoards of BSP well-wishers, who have ventured from far and wide, fill up the barn dance country hall.
With a stage decorated with the usual foliage and fake animals, they walk on, clad in wintry hats and scarves and launch into ’Apologies To Insect Life’, which receives an overwhelming cheer. Welcome back; greetings to the new, same-old BSP. And while we’re happy to receive such now traditional-gems as ’Remember Me’, ’Blackout’ and ’Carrion’, it’s the new songs that build anticipation. Forthcoming single ’It All Ended On An Oily Stage’, shows off Yan’s breathy voice as he desperately gasps out “but I do understand why they’re looking at you, as if you ever really cared,” and hints at a year of songwriting set in a maturing malaise. Other intriguing tracks include ‘Oh Larson B’ and Like A Honey Comb, which offer intense melodies and a nostalgic edge. Although they’re at odds with the brash, art- house sensibilities of ‘Favours In The Beetroot Field’, they show a cultivation of a more forlorn, sober furrow that receives respectful and enthusiastic applause from a stunned crowd.
Compared to their infamous random acrobatics of past performances, tonight they seem rather tame. Despite this, they do let out the odd squawking noise while Eamon keeps up his bass drum antics and Yan inflicts his stone cold startled stare. They play out with ‘Lately’ rather movingly, which transcends into impromptu stage diving from Noble and swinging off the light fixtures for Hamilton. Once again spectacularly inspirational – hats off to you Old Sarge!
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