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Third Battalion home / The Origins and Early History of the 3rd Battalion / Embrace the Past / A Rock in our Hearts / First Rites / BSP on tour Jan-Jun 2003 / Cath Aubergine's 2003 BSP Travelogue / ULU / BSP on tour Jan-Jun 2004 / Cargo / Springtime at Sea / True Adventures in the Land Beyond / To Cork and Dublin / The Children of the Summer's End / The Fall of British Sea Power

Footnotes The Search for HMS Sussex / Irish Jack

Fan reviews of BSP gigs can be found on the main site

To Cork and Dublin

British Sea Power on tour in Ireland, June 2005

At 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.

After 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.

I've 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.

Storming 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...

A rather 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.

The 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.

0400 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

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