Mid noughties indie bands don’t tend to have the best track records in consistency, most of them have produced a couple of decent records then faded into obscurity however British Sea Power aren’t your average indie fodder. What the band have been able to do since the release of their incredible debut album The Decline of British Sea Power in 2003 is produce exciting and interesting indie records that incorporate a number of different ideas. Just look at 2015’s effort Sea of Brass which had the band incorporate a brass orchestra into selections from their back catalogue, a ballsy move to say the least.
The bands latest release Let The Dancers Inherit The Party is one of the best records of the year, it brims in exciting sounds and great vocals that indie rock records have been missing of late. What sets British Sea Power apart however is their ability to produce an immersive and tight live performance.
Opening with Valhalla Dancehall opener ‘Who’s In Control’ it was obvious that the band were the one’s in control of the whole room. The packed out second room in Birmingham’s O2 Academy was captivated from the very first note, we were then treated to a triple whammy of new material. ‘International Space Station’ sounded as heavenly and immersive as it did on the record, ‘What You’re Doing’ was slick while lead single ‘Bad Bohemian’ sounded like an instant fan favourite.
The 21 song set seen British Sea Power take the Birmingham crowd on a journey with both old and new being given it’s chance to shine. Debut album The Decline of…. single ‘Remember Me’ proved why that album is so beloved while another fan favourite ‘Waving Flags’ produced a sing-a-long worthy of a stadium sized crowd. ‘Keep On Trying (Sechs Freunde)’ had the band sounding huge as if they were playing to that stadium sized crowd and having their ear worm chorus song sang straight back to them as if the song had been around since the start of the band.
British Sea Power don’t do half measures, not in their records and certainly not within their live shows. For that hour and a half that BSP took to the stage nothing else in the world mattered because the band made sure they were the only thing on your mind. The band sent the Birmingham crowd off with a smile on their face with a crowd pleasing double bill of Do You Like Rock Music? opening track ‘All In It’ and early fan favourite ‘Carrion’ that included a pair of dancing polar bears making their way through the crowd.
We might be 14 years on from the bands debut album but they are still doing what they do best, producing exciting indie music. In a time when indie rock isn’t looking it’s shiniest it’s great to see one of the old guard still shining bright.
Words by Callum McCormack