Wednesday, April 16, 2014

British Sea Power in Camden

When I went to see Editors in Brixton back in November I arrived just at the end of the support act and saw a bear on the stage.

My heart sank, as that could mean just one thing: I missed a chance to see British Sea Power.

In my defence my ticket just said "and support act" without saying BSP so I wasn't to know, but I left determined to keep an eye out for their next gig.

I was not successful, as shortly afterwards I missed what sounded like an epic event: a showing of the mesmerising film "From the sea to the land beyond" (as blogged here) with BSP playing live underneath the Cutty Sark! How cool would that have been.

So when I heard they were playing in Camden last week I went along to hear them for myself and discovered that they are one of those bands that are even better live.

Indeed Rolling Stone magazine once wrote of the Reading Festival "F*** this puerile drivel, we’re off to see British Sea Power”.

BSP have two sides to them. Firstly there is the lyrical, such as the song of the Great Skua, and who else could get away with a wordless song about a seabird played with video of the bird in the background? Or the one above with star fields and Polaris (above)?

Then there are the full blooded anthems to get the mosh pit moving - and it seemed to be mostly comprised of middle aged men trying to recover their youth and memories of being at Oasis gigs in the '90s.
No I was not one of them, honest!

As I said BSP are great live, full of live and character, not just with the brown and polar bears but decorating the set with twigs (no I don't know why, they just do).

My only wish was there had been more from my favourite album "Open Season" (blogged back 2008 here) which veers to the lyrical side with songs of Victorian Explorers, the Larson B ice shelf, North Hanging Rock and True Adventurers.

It was one of the albums I took on the Arctic Sail so has lots of good associations.

As I posted back in 2008 the sleeve notes (yup, old fashioned CD then) said:

There's hardly anything more impressive than a great sheet of water which is motionless and soundless. At such rare moments at sea it is almost frightening - and then when the moon comes up, then it is truly a shining level

I think that's something that Turner could have related to.

A great evening out.

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