British Sea Power
PatiosoundsEdit this event
Thick and fast, Belfast-based *Patiosounds *are ladling out the melody, trying to entice the Spring & Airbrake crowd forward. The four-piece have got a handful of more-than-presentable songs, all high-voltage, synth-charged indie-rock, and a fine singer, Peter McFaul, within whose vocal grasp words swirl as seductively as ice in a tumbler of finest whiskey. And yet tonight, for all these praiseworthy attributes, Patiosounds are a naggingly underwhelming experience. If only they could instil a little more vigour into their performance. It’s frustrating because, by the slightest squint of imagination, they could be a great, rather than good band.
To be fair, the glare of anticipation which precedes a British Sea Power performance is enough to make most acts appear a little lustreless. The surfeit of ideas which BSP bring to their music is astounding. Conceptually, musically and visually they are arresting. This is a band that likes to dress the part, to wear their eccentricities in a literal sense. Hence the army surplus gear, the rolled-up trouser legs and knee-chafing woollen socks and a violinist attired in a fancy-dress animal suit. Why, even the venue is accessorized, the stage draped in marine signal flags and two uniformed little dolls, cheerily grotesque of face, hang from metal hooks in the ceiling.
The music meanwhile is unadorned brilliance, each song an island of intrigue and invention. Already, the freshly minted Do You Like Rock Music? _is sounding as precious as previous offerings _The Decline of British Sea Power _and Open Season. They’ve seemingly got all bases covered, the rattling percussion of a track like ‘Down On The Ground’ finding its counter in the melancholy swathed loveliness of ‘Canvey Island’. Then there is the fist-pumping firepower of ‘No Lucifer’, a real one to get the crowd riled, its chant of _“easy, easy, easy” baiting evil, be it the Nazi youth or even Satan himself. Yeah, come and have some of this you cloven-hoofed soft lad.
They asset-strip their back catalogue to punctuate the flow of new material._ ‘Fear of Drowning’_ glints sinister with its brute rhythms and anguished vocal,_ ‘Please Stand Up’_ sounds righteously anthemic and ‘How Will I Ever Find My Way Home’ spring-heeled and perversely joyous. Indeed, for all their posturing and artful accoutrements, BSP are first and foremost a band that captures the heart. There can be no simulating the depth of feeling that emanates from the stage.
As ‘The Spirit of St Louis’ races to a convulsive finish, guitarist Martin Noble pitches himself overboard, into the throng. Standing atop the crowd, he surveys the scene before launching himself forward, his jump coming to an abrupt stop as he collides with one of the building’s concrete central pillars. He is hauled back to stage and is somehow seemingly unscathed. Hell, on this form, British Sea Power really_ are_ indestructible.
Photo: Turgidson, from Flickr
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