BRITISH SEA POWER are one of the most experimental and exciting bands of the past 15 years. Everything from ambient electronics to full brass bands have surrounded the band over nine studio albums.
I got the chance to speak to Guitarist Martin Noble ahead of festival season to talk about what is happening right now in camp British Sea Power.
You’re playing two north east festivals – Lindisfarne and Harvest From the Deep – how are you feeling about these?
“Feeling good. I love the north east, especially the Northumberland coast, The Cheviots, Brian Clough, Gazza (God bless him) and weather hardy ladies.”
Are there any acts at these that you are hoping to catch?
“I’m not sure who is playing yet. No chance of Robson and Jerome playing?”
Do you as a band have any outstanding memories of playing in the North East?
“At a Newcastle show Geordie Mark, who is involved with Harvest of the Deep, was in our bear outfit on stage. He had 2 bottles of Newcastle Brown taped to his hands and clapped his hands together, smashing the bottles. He then, unbeknownst to him, walked around the stage waving 2 broken bottles around nearly slashing the tender skin of the band. We know that bear as ‘Newcastle Brown Bear’. He’s not been invited back.”
Your latest album, Sea of Brass, came out last year – will your setlist be mainly these songs?
“No, we only play that on special occasions. At Harvest of the Deep we are performing our soundtrack ‘From The Sea To The Land Beyond’ live to the film made by Penny Woolcock, which is a kind of meditation on the UK coast and the people who live there over the last 100 years. We are recording our new album now, so we’ll be playing a few new songs I imagine.”
Will the brass band be joining you on stage this time around?
“No brass bands. I think we’re done with that now.”
The live performance you give is spectacular – what is the difference between playing a festival and playing your own shows?
“At our own shows it’s 100% fans, so there is more joy and interaction with the fans. At festivals there are more people who may not be familiar with all our songs. We’ll give them a little taste of what we do.”
It has been 13 years since the release of The Decline of British Sea Power, but do you still use festivals to draw in new fans?
“It is an opportunity to play to new people of course, and we hope we can still rock you.”
What can we expect from British Sea Power after festival season?
“Our new album. We’re feeling very positive about it. After all the film soundtracks. re-releases and the brass orchestra album we’ve been shifting around a lot musically, without putting anything new out. It’s been our intention to write some upbeat concise songs with fairly regular song structures. Verses & choruses for a change! It feels like the right thing to do now. We think your going to like it!”
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