To Cork and Dublin
Sea Power on tour in Ireland, June 2005
0130 hours on Sunday night/Monday morning my journey to see
my favourite foremost coastal beat combo in Ireland's republic began
- seven-and-a-half hours later I arrived in the supposed 'culture
captial' Corcaigh only to discover that everywhere was closed because
of the bank holiday and that I would be unable to meet with my most
morose friend because he had gone blind. Still,
I wasn't going to let little things like that get in the way of
seeing what I came here for - the giraffes at Fota Wildlife park.
So after a quick walk around what De Lacey might call a 'no-horse'
town, I headed out to Fota to meet the animals. Highlights included
the Bison, Lemurs, Giraffes (naturally) and White Tailed Sea Eagle.
meeting up with a group of six old folk, we embarked on a healthy
seven-hour pub crawl where I preceeded to drink both Kevo and Captain
Riot under the table while having the most bizarre encounter with
Who legend Irish Jack. With Kevo moaning about wanting to go to
bed, and myself also feeling the effects of sleep deprivation, it
was going to have to take a fairly spectacular effort from the BSP
boys to get the excitement levels up. Tonight England and Ireland
expects - and luckily enough, rejuvenated after a couple of days
well-earned rest and fired-up by the jangle of The La's across town,
the Power put on a show to rival any I've seen.
yet to be at a BSP gig I could call bad - but there's been average
ones, and there's been great ones... and then there's the stratospheric.
Tonight was not quite Cargo, but it was one of the closest I've
seen. The setlist was transformed - and I'm not talking about
Swords of a Thousand Men and The Night Chicago Died (they
fortunately ignored our alternative set list) - they played with
all the energy of a three-litre bottle of Lucozade.
renditions of Spirit O', Carrion and Apologies,
a sublime Be Gone and a corking Fear of Drowning were
among the highlights (read a full review here), as was the return of Irish Jack to speak to
Yan betwixt songs: "There's a very nice gentleman at the front asking
if we can play My Generation. If only..." They may not have
known the real chords or words, but Nobby pulled his best Townshend
windmills, and as Lately ascended into Rock In A,
an attempt was made...
strenuous hungover train journey followed, and the troupe arrived
in Dublin to pick up a few more members where discussions included
'which member of the Third would you eat first if stranded on a
desert island?' The subject of food aroused the interest of Tom
Nicholls who arrived with a number of recipes to give the band as
set lists - enough for a full three course meal including Sage and
Broccoli Soup, Pasta with Sardines, and Banana Pudding.
band turned out another good performace - it couldn't top Cork,
but it was pretty faultless. Again the set was topsy-turvy, which
is a great variation for those of us who have been seeing similar
sets for a while. It was a lot shorter tonight too, due to the really
bad club night they had to put on at 2230 downstairs. Not only was
the music pretty poor, but there was a huge number of bouncers around
doing their best to stop anyone having fun. People were threatened
with being thrown out for such outrageous behaviour as touching
plants, and on numerous occasions for putting feet on seats. There
were a number of stern talking-to's dished out for various 'throwing'
incidents involving myself and Kevo with some ice, and Noble nearly
got kicked out when we battled with flowers and polystyrene airplanes.
and I was back at the airport, still rather unsteady on my feet,
ready to fly home, while some of the others were commendably staying
on to head up to Belfast (read the review here). I haven't had this little sleep since,
ooh... Elektrowerkz a week before. But who needs sleep when you've
got British Sea Power? Huge thank yous to everyone for making it
a fantastic and unforgetable trip, as always, Kevo, Capt Riot, Cath,
Cold Ethyl and David Essex, Pete, 5NO, Gary and friend (whose name
has slipped my mind), Jennifer, and of course, mum.
Photos by Cath Aubergine