British Sea Power
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Amid the light hustle and bustle, clad in their usual oddly-assembled attire - medallion twinned with hockey jersey, tweed clashing at waist with 100% cotton - British Sea Power return, having never really left. And so, with skulls drenched and hushed aplomb, another opportunity to showcase material from their tentatively-titled new record opens.
There is a sense that this evening is a time for celebration - an intimate performance announced at late notice, Sea Power look suitably half-cut by the time they bounder on stage. As a result of their intoxication, the set is somewhat unhinged, but provides a clear indication that recent recorded ventures have ironed the creases that were apparent on their brief UK jaunt around the new year. They open with 'Atom', a stop-start affair resembling the disjointed delirium of Clap Your Hands Say Yeah! and a solid introduction to pastures new from BSP. This seamlessly sits alongside 'Remember Me' and harks back to the raucous glory that marked their debut. However, as long lost friends 'Scottish Wildlife Experience' and 'Spirit of St. Louis' enter the foray with unabashed rampancy, it is clear to the hear the influence Open Season has had over the new material as 'A Trip Out' sighs with the same retiring brilliance.
Alongside material that has long made Sea Power one of the most relentlessly consistent live performers going, as 'Lucifer' dies a death and 'How Will I Ever Find My Way Home?' kicks in, a yearning for more of the new remains. 'Lights Out For Darker Skies' continues this form, a classic example of how BSP are able to produce tracks of compulsive grandeur without ever seeming contrived. Distortion-ridden and receiving something of a reprise, it sounds like the pastoral musings of Pixies.
As the last notes of 'Carrion' ring out, heads chemically a-swirl, irksome glances are exchanged between Brothers Wilkinson and things descend into the standard closing nonsense. But rather than 'Lately' (and an unabridged 'Rock In A'), 'Dogs Barking' provides new grounds to wander, warping into what is believed to be 'Freight Train', then diving into delirium-induced improvisation - heroically haphazard. Whilst this evening is far from Sea Power's finest hour, as Yan is brought an air raid siren to close proceedings, alongside odes to Dostoevsky, Essex islands and field marshalls, it all acts to signal how potently engaging they remain. The siren sounds, it's time to leave. An album anticipated.
'Scottish Wildlife Experience'
'The Spirit of St. Louis'
'A Trip Out'
'Please Stand Up'
'Favours In The Beetroot Field'
'How Will I Ever Find My Way Home?'
'Apologies To Insect Life'
'Lights Out For Darker Skies'
'Freight Train'_ […]
Photograph from garytomwilliams
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