- British Sea Power
Infobox musical artist
Name = British Sea Power
Img_capt = Yan (left) and Hamilton (right) in Paris in 2008
Background = group_or_band
Indie rock Post-punk revival
Years_active = 2000–present
Rough Trade Records
Associated_acts = Brakes
URL = [http://www.britishseapower.co.uk/ britishseapower.co.uk]
Current_members = Yan
Past_members = Eamon
British Sea Power are a four-man
indie rockband based in Brighton, England, although three of the band come originally from Kendalin Cumbria. Their style ranges from the sweeping, often epic, guitar pop sound to the visceral and angular. Critics have likened their sound to a variety of groups, from The Cureto the Pixies[Citation |last=Long |first=Chris |title=British Sea Power, Open Season |url=http://www.bbc.co.uk/music/release/bqjw/ |accessdate=2007-09-14] . [Citation |last=Siebelt |first=Olli |title=British Sea Power |url=http://www.bbc.co.uk/music/release/nbdp/ |accessdate=2007-09-14] They have most often been compared to Joy Division. [Citation |last= |first= |title=British Sea Power Biography |url=http://music.aol.com/artist/british-sea-power/517469/biography |accessdate=2008-09-14] [Citation |last= |first= |title=Review of Open Season |url=http://www.bbc.co.uk/dna/collective/A3840770 |accessdate=2007-09-14] The band consists of:
British Sea Power's Yan, Hamilton and Wood were school friends from
Kendalin Cumbria. They were in a number of bands together while at school, but after finishing his exams Yan moved to study at Reading University, where he met guitarist Noble, who was originally from Bury, Greater Manchester. A few years later Hamilton and Woody joined them and formed a band. They have since been joined by Abi Fry, who plays viola for the band.
in search of a more vibrant music scene. "British Sea Power" was actually the name of one of these demo tracks, and was eventually reworked into "Carrion". In Brighton, BSP amassed a strong local following, due mainly to their own club night called "Club Sea Power". The club nights featured many different support bands, and other forms of entertainment such as a 1930s fashion show, and were most frequently hosted at the Freebutt and the Lift (the latter has now closed down).
Their debut single, "
Fear of Drowning", was issued in limited numbers of their own Golden Chariotlabel. The artwork for the B side "A Wooden Horse" borrows heavily from the dust cover of the 1950 book "The Wooden Horse" that details the escape of Allied POWs during WWII. Geoff Travisof Rough Trade Recordssaw the band live and in September 2001 signed them to his label. A number of singles were issued on the label, and Eamon (Eamon Hamilton) was recruited to play live keyboards in autumn 2002.
The Decline of British Sea Power", the band's debut album, was released in June 2003 to critical acclaim. A single from the album, "Carrion", became the band's first Top 40 single. The album only charted in the lower reaches of the UK Album Chart but turned out to be a word of mouth success, shipping well over 60,000 copies over the following two years and allowing them to play sell-out UK tours to venues of over 1,000 people.
" charted at #18 in the UK Singles Chart a week earlier.
British Sea Power have a reputation for elaborate and well-thought out live shows and won the 2004 Time Out London Live Band of the Year award. The stage is often decorated with foliage and plastic birds and sets generally finish with a semi-improvised song called "Rock in A", which sometimes lasts for over 20 minutes. Various members often climb riggings and tear down the foliage, Eamon walks around the audience beating his marching drum, and a ten-foot bear, Ursine Ultra, occasionally makes an appearance - often taking a beating from various band members. This has become one of the signatures of the band. Their tours often include unusual venues such as the Scillonian Club on the
Isles of Scilly, GrasmereVillage Hall, the St. John Boste Social Club in Kendal, Cumbriaand Carnglaze Cavernsin Cornwall.
The band have built up an eccentric image in interviews and press releases; some of which is based on fact, other times merely whimsical building of outward personas. This has included giving journalists
grid references at which to meet them, and expressing obsessions with Field Marshal Montgomery and bird watching. Similarly, they appeared on the day time TV show 'Countryfile' in which they discussed their love of the countryside and played an outdoor performance of the track 'Canvey Island'.
The band has a fiercely loyal and devoted hardcore fanbase, sometimes referred to as the Third Battalion.
At the beginning of 2006, it was announced that Eamon had left British Sea Power to concentrate on his own band Brakes ref|ref-02. The group spent part of late 2006 working on new material in
Montreal, and are preparing a DVD.
In 2007, American Laundromat Records announced that British Sea Power would record a version of the
Pixies' "Caribou" for an album called "Dig For Fire - A Tribute To Pixies."
In October 2007, the band went on tour throughout the east coast of America to showcase their new 5-track EP "
Krankenhaus?". In November 2007, they toured a variety of unusual locations in the UK including a seaside cafe in Saltdean, East Sussex; a ferry across the River Mersey, Liverpool; the [http://www.tanhillinn.co.uk Tan Hill Inn] , the UK's highest inn; All Saints Church in Newcastle-upon-Tyne; and [http://www.whitemischief.info White Mischief] , an indoor festival mixing live bands with unusual vaudeville acts.
Their "Krankenhaus?" EP was released digitally for purchasable download in October 2007 and was released on CD and vinyl on November the 20th. Their third album, "
Do You Like Rock Music?" was released on 14th January 2008 in the U.K. and scheduled for release on 12th February 2008 in the U.S. Prior to their tour in support of "Do You Like Rock Music?" (visiting Ireland, UK, Belgium, Holland, Germany and US), Wood injured his back and had to be temporarily replaced by Tom White of Electric Soft Paradeand Brakes fame.
In January 2008 the keyboard and cornet player ended up in hospital after being knocked unconscious when he attempted a stage dive. [ [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/7209121.stm BBC NEWS | Entertainment | Stage dive knocks out musician ] ] The crowd at
LeedsIrish Centre failed to catch Phil Sumner, who jumped off a 12-foot PA system landing head first. The press department at Rough Trade Recordsreported "The impact knocked him out. Thankfully an ambulance was quickly summoned and he was whisked away, bloody and unconscious and despite a concussion, a broken molar and a maze of stitches in his chin, a very groggy Phil is expected to make a full recovery." In spite of this, he returned to the stage with the rest of the band a day later in Kendal.
In February 2008, the band appeared on
Later with Jools Holland, playing " Waving Flags", "Canvey Island", and " No Lucifer". They were ably accompanied by a small number of the London Bulgarian Choirand a display of Cumbrian wrestling. The band are also scheduled to play at Glastonbury, Reading and Leeds, T in the Parkand Bestival. [ [http://www.gigwise.com/news/40028/british-sea-power-confirm-glastonbury-slot GIGWISE, British Sea Power Confirm Glastonbury Slot ] ]
The band played
No Luciferon The Late Show with David Lettermanon the 12th of March 2008, performed and were interviewed on Countryfile, and had a concert filmed for the Canadian music series Beautiful Noise.
The band played a free show in Oklahoma at the First Annual Norman Music Festival on April 26, 2008, and on June 21, 2008, played a concert at the Natural History Museum in London, some of which was filmed. [ [http://www.thequietus.com/articles/british-sea-power-at-the-natural-history-museum-the-quietus-film British Sea Power filmed at the Natural History Museum ] ]
On 22 July 2008, the band were announced as one of the nominees for the 2008
Mercury Prize. To coincide with their nomination they re-released their song Waving Flagson the 8th September 2008 [ [http://www.music-dash.co.uk/releases/release.asp?item=5631 Manchester Music | Waving Flags re-release] ] , which they also performed at the award ceremony the following day. [ [http://www.bbc.co.uk/musicevents/mercuryprize2008/nominations/britishseapower.shtml BBC | Mercury Prize 2008 | British Sea Power] ]
The Decline of British Sea Power" (2003 - UK #57, Japan, USA)
* "Open Season" (2005 - UK #13, Japan, USA)
Do You Like Rock Music?" (2008 - UK #10, Japan, USA)
Fear of Drowning" (2001 - UK)
* "Remember Me" (2001 - UK)
* "The Lonely" (2002 - UK)
Childhood Memories" (2002 - UK)
* "Carrion"/"Apologies to Insect Life" (2003 - UK #36)
* "Remember Me" (2003 - UK #30)
A Lovely Day Tomorrow" (with Ecstasy of Saint Theresa) (2004 - Czech Republic)
It Ended on an Oily Stage" (2005 - UK #18)
Please Stand Up" (2005 - UK #34)
* "Remember Me"/"I Am a Cider Drinker" (with
The Wurzels) (2005 - UK)
Waving Flags" (2008 - UK #31)
No Lucifer" (2008 - UK)
# [http://www.thisisthelakedistrict.co.uk/lakesguide/walks/walkupdates/display.var.413492.0.0.php Kendal band seeks nominations] , "The Westmorland Gazette", 18 Sep 2003.
# [http://www.nme.com/news/british-sea-power/21953 British Sea Power member quits] , NME Online", 16 Jan 2006.
* [http://www.britishseapower.co.uk/ Official website]
* [http://www.synthesis.net/music/interview/item-6907/2008-02-29-british_sea_power British Sea Power interview at synthesis.net]
* [http://www.musicomh.com/interviews/british-sea-power_0108.htm British Sea Power interview at musicOMH.com]
* [http://www.phoenixfm.com/story/1239.php British Sea Power interview at Canvey Island for Phoenix FM]
* [http://www.noripcord.com/?q=node/494 Interview with British Sea Power at No Ripcord]
* [http://www.the-mag.me.uk/Music/Bands/?Band=British-Sea-Power&BandId=1759 British Sea Power articles on The Mag]
* [http://www.godisinthetvzine.co.uk/content/content_detail.php?id=2159&type=Interviews Interview with British Sea Power at God Is In The TV Zine Trade Records artists]
* [http://www.godisinthetvzine.co.uk/content/content_detail.php?id=2173&type=Albums - God Is In The TV Zine Do You Like Rock Music? Review]
* [http://obscuresound.com/?p=1588 British Sea Power on Obscure Sound]
* [http://www.drownedinsound.com/articles/2851519/ Article from DrownedinSound.com documenting Phil Sumner's fall]
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