British Sea Power

British Sea Power - Shepherds Bush Empire

BSP’s new album ‘Let The Dancers Inherit The Party’, has reawakened everyone’s love for the 6 piece with its social comment and string of pop anthems. So, this tour surely could not fail.

BSP have always bred a respectful and loyal following, so, unlike most bands 6 albums deep, the new songs were a treat not an excuse for a piss. That said, 6 of the opening 7 being new tracks dimmed the mood after opening with the protest banger ‘Who’s In Control’. The pop prowess of ‘Bad Bohemian’ and the introspective Nick Drake-esque ‘Electrical Kittens’ are destined to remain in the set for a long time.

When BSP get into 5th gear with ‘Lights Out For Darker Skies’ the west London crowd spring into action. Their unique spirit rises to the surface as Martin Noble unleashes his brand of Springsteen meets punk rock.

Conspicuous by their absence are tracks from their classic album ‘Open Season’. The fact that BSP can pull off such a top draw show without classics ‘Please Stand Up’ or ‘It Ended On an Oily Stage’ is a testament to their quality, but what is it a brave step too far?

One note of Abi Fry’s violin on set closer ‘The Great Skua’ gave an emphatic answer of no. The colossal beauty and warmth was enough to think ‘fuck the encore, it’s never topping that'. Perhaps only their early firecracker ‘Carrion’ came close.

One thing is for certain, where there are dancing polar and grizzly bears, there will be a group of indie and punk lovers willing to cherish one of Britain’s best kept secrets.

British Sea Power - Let The Dancers Inherit The Party

Brighton's British Sea Power returned with their 6th studio album 'Let The Dancers Inherit The Party' this month. With a loyal following, nothing is particularly at risk, but, after various side projects and previous album lacking a little, their relevance was certainly on the line. How glad we were to hit play on this glorious indictment of the times then.

The underdog as the optimist is a difficult position to win from, when, easy answers to complex questions lay with your detractors. However, British Sea Power have come out with swinging with messages of togetherness and crucially, wrapped them up in radio friendly pop anthems.

The first half of the album is as unifying as any record in recent memory. Whether it be the driving guitars of ‘What You’re Doing’, the defiant messages of ‘Bad Bohemian’ and Keep On Trying (Sechs Freunde) or Sunkist tale of honesty ‘The Voice of Ivy Lee', BSP reminded everyone that to be heard, you must do what the mainstream does and do it better! Change will never come from playing to the converted at boutique festivals. With the pop majesty of these tracks, BSP should be forcing their way into V Festival and onto 4music to remind everyone pop music doesn't have to be dull.

BSP will not have sat down thinking, we need to do deep and meaningful better than Ed Sheeran or deliver messages of togetherness with unashamed glory better than the UK’s right wing, but, in doing so, for the first time in a long time, the cogs feel like they are gaining some positive traction.

‘Bad Bohemian’ walks the line of cult classic and victorious anthem, a skill BSP have not delivered since 'Who's In Control'. Sonically so effortless, it feels like a one take wonder.

The flip side to BSP’s renewed singles form is their destructive melancholy. ‘Electrical Kittens’ and ‘Praise For Whatever’ give a sense of something good being lost to evil (the BBC to the Tories for the former). Much like the This Is England film and TV series, darkness looms throughout, but, its so enjoyable your attention will never fade.

‘Don’t Let The Sun Get In The Way’ stands atop of everything here like a bombastic beacon of light. The introspective verses are tempered with infectious shimmering riffs and angelic backing vocals until the inevitable spotlight descends upon Martin Noble. His solo is 30 seconds of arms around the world positivity which will not settle for Farrage or Trump.

Go pick up a guitar. Now!

British Sea Power - Bad Bohemian

BSP guitarist Martin Noble recently told the NME:

“It was made to a background of politicians perfecting the art of unabashed lying, of social-media echo chambers, of click-bait and electronic Tonka Toys to keep us entertained and befuddled. All this can easily make the individual feel futile. But I think we’ve ended up addressing this confusion in an invigorating way, rather than imprisoning the listener in melancholy.”

Noble’s sentiments are clear from the off as their archetypal wistfulness soars all around you. In the early days, there was a sense of trying to two foot the doors of hinges with ‘Apologies to Insect Life’ and ‘Favours in the Beetroot Fields’. The charm still remains intact but, it comes with a wisdom and a loving arm around the shoulder. In such a divisive world, BSP’s alternate reality of love and hope is needed more than ever.