British Sea Power
Brakes and Morton ValenceEdit this event
The loyalty of British Sea Power fans is ever present tonight, as some have travelled the extra mile bearing branches and fondling twigs in admiration. The room reaches full capacity by the time they are on, leaving a queue of a further two hundred people gutted, because security just won't let them in.
All in all it's a perfect platform if you're a new band in need of some attention. Which is exactly what Morton Valence receives in abundance. Comprised of an international lineup, they are able to weld a corking tune with a sophisticated stage presence. Notably genius is their cover of Cameo's 'Word Up', in Cantonese.
Brighton super group, Brakes follow. For all those who don't already know the score, the band includes Eamon of BSP, Alex and Tom of Electric Soft Parade and Marc of The Tenderfoot. Not that this should make any difference because they don't actually sound like any of their other current bands. With an eclectic approach, they go from the beefy, pulsing 'All Night Disco Party' to the short and sharp eight second political rant, 'Cheney'. Eamon's Neil Young-esque vocals, complimented with good strong melodies and a quirky passion, is enough to make you want to migrate to Brighton just to investigate what's in the water. Definitely ones to watch.
BSP are quite simply remarkable. In the middle of a non-stop extensive tour, I wouldn't be surprised if they've been burning the candles at both ends, and admittedly the troops do look a bit wearisome tonight. Yet their full-on, sunken-eyed, gaunt appearance doesn't stop them from putting on a quality show - even in the face of treacherous technical difficulties.
It begins promisingly as they launch into 'It Ended On An Oily Stage', which is given a boisterous boost with Woody's rapid bulleted drumming. However, Yan's microphone decides to misbehave when they get to 'Remember Me', affecting the sound but not the spirit in their delivery. When Hamilton takes over singing duties on 'How Will I Ever Find My Way Home', the poor lad is faced with a limbo dance as the microphone stand slips. However, his body contortions don't make him falter once - in fact there's a determined richness to his voice as he soldiers on, undefeated by such misdemeanours.
Back once again is Yan's infamous bulbous stare for 'The Spirit Of St Louis' as well Hammy's gawp, but this is not to detract from the fact that it sounds astounding this evening. More noticeable is how much stronger the vocals are becoming; alongside the crisp roughness, there is also a stirring, quivering tenderness as shown with 'Be Gone' and 'Oh Larsen B'.
As is BSP tradition, they end with their superlative signature opus, 'Lately/Rock In A', but this time devoid of their usual chaotic stage gymnastics. Somehow I don't think many are disappointed though, as the vacuum-packed members of the audience may well have spent this sweltering night in fear of sticking to the persons either side. Besides, after playing with such sparkling sportsmanship, this unique event is yet another treasured landmark in BSP's history.
Photo by Mark Milan
- In Photos: Y-Not Festival 2012 @ Peak District National Park
- In Photos: Truck Festival 2012 @ Hill Farm, Steventon
- In Photos: Latitude Festival 2011 @ Henham Park, Suffolk
- In Photos: Live From Jodrell Bank @ Jodrell Bank, Cheshire
- Mixtape: Camden Crawl '11 + Win VIP Tickets
- Latitude announces first acts, including The National
- Simian Mobile Disco and British Sea Power for Camden Crawl
- Spotifriday #79 - This Week on DiS as a playlist