British Sea Power (formed 2000)
British Sea Power is a British indie rock band. Though they are now based in Brighton, three of the band members are originally from Kendal in Cumbria. The band line-up is Yan (guitar & vocals), Noble (guitar, piano & keyboards), Hamilton (bass, vocals & guitar) and Wood (drums). They have also been joined by Abi Fry on viola.
Formation: Yan, Hamilton and Wood were school friends in Cumbria and were all in a number of different bands together whilst they were at school. Yan moved away to attend university in Reading, where he met Noble. Hamilton and Woody joined them and formed the band. After recording a demo in Reading, the band moved to Brighton and began to attract a large following, partly owing to their club night, Club Sea Power, often hosted at the Freebutt venue. The band's debut single, 'Fear Of Drowning' was released on the band's own label, Golden Chariot. In 2001, Geoff Travis, of Rough Trade Records saw the band play live and offered them a record deal. In 2002, Eamon Hamilton was recruited to play keyboards in their live shows.
Career: British Sea Power's debut album, The Decline of British Sea Power, was released in 2003. The album spawned the band's first Top 40 single, 'Carrion'. The band's success and popularity grew steadily and they eventually sold over 60,000 copies in the two years following its release. The band's second album, Open Season came out in 2005 and became a critical success as well as a commercial triumph, reaching number 13 in the UK album chart. The first single from the album, 'It Ended On An Oily Stage' previewed the album by reaching number 18 in the singles chart. In 2006, Eamon left the band to concentrate on his other outfit, Brakes. The band's third album was entitled 'Do You Like Rock Music?' and was released in January 2008. On 18th May, 2009, British Sea Power released 'Man of Aran' - a soundtrack album for the film of the same name. Their next studio album came in the form of 'Valhalla Dancehall'. The album was released on 13th October 2010, and received positive reviews. In February, 2013, the band released the title track for their upcoming album 'Machineries of Joy'. The album itself was later released on 1st April, 2013, to middling reviews. 'From The Sea to the Land Beyond: Britain's Coast on Film' was released on 13th June, 2012. The film was a documentary using music from British Sea Power throughout. The film was released on DVD with an accompanying soundtrack album in December 2013.
More acts have been announced for the Wales festival.
All headliners for Wales' Festival No. 6 have now been announced, with Metronomy now heading the bill with Grace Jones and Belle & Sebastian. Further new acts have also been added to the line-up, while many more acts are yet to be announced.
British electronic collective Metronomy head the bill with Jamaican crooner Grace Jones and Glasgow pop group Belle & Sebastian as a host of other new bands are added to the festival line-up. The fourth instalment of this uniquely cultured festival is set to hit Portmeirion from September 3rd to 6th, bringing with it some fine artists such as Catfish & The Bottlemen, Jame Bay, Stornoway and Blossoms to name but a few.
Continue reading: Metronomy Round Off Their Album Tour As Festival No. 6 Headliners
'We're all in it, and we close our eyes.'
'From the Sea to the Land Beyond' is the latest album from Brighton based sextet British Sea Power. It is the soundtrack to Penny Woolcock's 2012 documentary of the same name which uses BFI footage of the coastal areas of England; something that can be defined as traditionally British and complements British Sea Power's style perfectly.
Having been well-established for over a decade, British Sea Power have always remained independent and faithful to their roots while acknowledging their fondness of individuality and interest into British history. Thus, they were a perfect choice to accompany the above film as well as stamp a unique sound.
Continue reading: British Sea Power - From The Sea To The Land Beyond Album Review
Albums of Note... Yeah Yeah Yeahs have returned after a lengthy break, with Mosquito. It’s a marked step in the band’s evolution and a further step away from their punky roots. Mosquito has opened up further avenues of creative possibilities for a band that once seemed shackled by their arty roots and somewhat more importantly, Karen O now has blonde hair, now folks. That’s the big news here.
“The possibilities for the Yeah Yeah Yeahs now seem endless. The inclusion of Kool Keith's alter ego Dr Octagon on 'Buried Alive' is one such example. Although slightly scattergun in its approach, Mosquito almost feels like a record the band needed to make to reach the next stage of their evolution.”
The Decline Of British Sea Power, the band's debut album way back in 2003, was thankfully not a prophecy about the likelihood of British Sea Power having a successful career post release. Ten years and four more albums have passed since we were treated to 'Fear Of Drowning' and 'Apologies To Insect Life' et al and the band show no signs of wilting away. What made the band such an individual and intriguing prospect back then is still largely what characterises their sound now. They are very British, slightly odd, idiosyncratic, individual and eclectic. They have a unique sound that is brilliantly balanced with lyrical dexterity and diversity and they play a cracking live set. A decade has not diminished their ability to deliver.
Machineries Of Joy, BSP's sixth and latest album has the advantage of a degree of familiarity about it. Because we've come to know what to expect from BSP, the subject matter or lyrical content is no longer as peculiar as it might have seemed initially. We are used to the arrangements and the vocals and we have become tuned into a band that have their own distinctive sound. This is not to belittle the new album as more of the same, it is to applaud a band who have successfully ploughed their own unique furrow and who are without equal or imitation in what they do.
The ten song set is beautifully introduced and presented by the initial delicacy of the title track 'Machineries Of Joy'. The track builds with each set of notes as Yan softly sings with the repeated chorus establishing an instant earworm as rampant guitar riffs flit in and out. Ketamine induced hallucinations provide the topic for the altogether more animated 'K-Hole'. BSP do the equivalent of Blur's 'Song 2' with a raucous bundle of electrified and energised fuzz and frenzy with only the odd respite to draw breath. 'Hail Holy Queen' makes great use of strings and dreamy harmonies to embellish and adorn a more sombre song before 'Loving Animals' takes the band back a generation to an Indie heyday populated by the sounds of Joy Division and Magazine. 'What You Need The Most' pulls the band back to base with a stunning song of stripped back beauty. The tender vocal and 'lullaby' score compliment each other wonderfully.
Continue reading: British Sea Power - Machineries Of Joy Album Review
1st August, 2015