Brilliantine Mortality

Third Battalion

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


A Rock in our Hearts

The British Sea Power are a band of tensions and contradictions. Their stage-craft, unfashionable fascinations with birds, beeches and Czech folk and their penchant for wearing smocks and Marple-esque straw hats on stage has led them to be branded with such utterly ridiculous descriptions as "the wimpier side of The Smiths" – step forward S. Lamacq of Colchester.

The casual passer-by would be forgiven for dismissing them as a bunch of hand-knitted milk-sops – but once one sets foot in a Sea Power gig all these assumptions are swept away on a tide of awesomely melodic (whisper it!) pop and pile-driving rock madness.

It's a tide that sometimes ebbs, yet sometimes positively booms and crashes. The crazed, begoggled stage-presence of the band leads one to believe that they are all quite possibly clinically insane – but if one speaks to them off-staqe they are lovely and affable and articulate and funny.

They are quite terminally unfashionable – which I think is a distinct advantage in these fad-addled times. All this jittery artery fartery a la Franz will implode in a cloud of ketamine, fixative, skinny ties, paranoia and quite possibly sliced ears. The 'cosmic Scouse' jokers will toke themselves to a standstill; and as for the cock-schlock-moc-croc 'rock' of the likes of Jet and Kings of Leon... well, they'll just wank themselves back into Almost Famous where they belong and we can all rest easy again.

All else is but chatter and noise; a rush of sound and fury signifying nothing. It is but a crude oil slick upon the Power that is Sea.

British Sea Power will last like a megalithic rock in our hearts and minds and ears. Their melodies and visions have stamped our brains and branded our souls. They are primeval and futuristic and jolly good fun. Lately is ancient, regretful and heart-breaking and fresh and full of quiet hope all at the same time. I can imagine it soundtracking both the Dawn of Time and the Apocalypse. Laugh all you want, unbelievers. We know the truth. They are British Sea Power and they will endure. Bless them and all who sail in them.


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