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British Sea Power

A sextet from Natland, Cumbria, England, British Sea Power are a rather conceptual indie band -- compared more than once to Joy Division and the Cure -- whose music incorporates elements of art rock and post-rock experimentalism. The group was formed in 2000 by brothers Yan Scott Wilkinson (vocals and guitar) and Neil Hamilton Wilkinson (vocals, guitar, and bass), who teamed up with a longtime friend, drummer Matthew Wood. When Yan enrolled at the University of Reading, he met like-minded musician Martin Noble, who played guitar and keyboards, and soon they began performing under the name British Air Powers, changing the name to British Sea Power after a song from their early repertoire.

Their live shows received notice early on, thanks in no small part to the group's offbeat theatrics and visual flair (the band often wore militaristic uniforms, large stuffed birds and artificial plants were a big part of their stage set, and a man in a bear costume sometimes joined them on-stage). Rough Trade's Geoff Travis was impressed by one of British Sea Power's (literally) wild performances and signed them; by the end of 2001, they had two singles in the racks: "Fear of Drowning" on Golden Chariot and "Remember Me" on Rough Trade. British Sea Power expanded to a five-piece when Eamon Hamilton of Brakes was recruited to play keyboards with the band; he was also known to pick up a bass drum and charge into the audience when the spirit moved him.

The group released its critically acclaimed debut, The Decline of British Sea Power, in 2003. Open Season arrived in 2005, but the following year Hamilton left the group to concentrate on Brakes, while two musicians joined the lineup, Abi Fry on viola and Phil Sumner on keyboards, cornet, and guitar. In 2008, the expanded lineup recorded the eccentric but accessible Do You Like Rock Music?, then followed it with an unusual project, lending their signature post-punk atmospherics to director Robert Flaherty's bleak 1934 film Man of Aran, composing a complete soundtrack for the movie that was released on DVD, as well as performing the score in its entirety at a number of screenings.

In 2010, the band unleashed the seven-track EP Zeus, followed in 2011 by its fourth full-length outing, Valhalla Dancehall. Machineries of Joy, inspired by a 1964 collection of short stories of the same name by Ray Bradbury, arrived in 2013. Late the same year, British Sea Power unveiled another film score, penning the soundtrack for Penny Woolcock's documentary From the Sea to the Land Beyond. In 2015, British Sea Power reissued The Decline of British Sea Power through their own Golden Chariot label; it appeared in two expanded editions, one featuring a bonus disc of rare tracks, and another that included a DVD of rare film footage along with the two CDs. That same year, British Sea Power staged a concert tour in which the group was accompanied by a traditional British brass band at each stop. At the end of the tour, the group entered the studio with Foden's Band, a celebrated brass ensemble first formed in Cheshire at the dawn of the 20th century, and re-created the live set from the tour; the sessions were released in October 2015 under the title Sea of Brass. ~ Andy Kellman
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: Valhalla Dancehall

1. Who's In Control

2. We Are Sound

3. Georgie Ray

4. Stunde Null

5. Mongk II

6. Luna

7. Baby

8. Living Is So Easy

9. Observe The Skies

10. Cleaning Out The Rooms

11. Thin Black Sail

12. Once More Now

13. Heavy Water

x

Track List: Zeus

1. Zeus

2. Cleaning Out The Rooms

3. Can We Do It?

4. Bear

5. Pardon My Friends

6. Mongk

7. KW-H

x

Track List: Man Of Aran

Disc 1

1. Man Of Aran

3. Come Wander With Me

4. Tiger King

5. The Currach

6. Boy Vertiginous

8. Conneely Of The West

9. The North Sound

10. Woman Of Aran

12. No Man Is An Archipelago

Disc 2
x

Track List: Do You Like Rock Music?

1. All In It

2. Lights Out For Darker Skies

3. No Lucifer

4. Waving Flags

5. Canvey Island

6. Down On The Ground

7. A Trip Out

8. The Great Skua

9. Atom

10. No Need To Cry

11. Open The Door

12. We Close Our Eyes

x

Track List: Krankenhaus?

1. Atom

2. Down On The Ground

3. Straight Down The Line

4. Hearing Aid

5. The Pelican

x

Track List: Open Season

1. It Ended On An Oily Stage

2. Be Gone

3. How Will I Ever Find My Way Home?

4. Like A Honeycomb

5. Please Stand Up

6. North Hanging Rock

7. To Get To Sleep

8. Victorian Ice

9. Oh Larsen B

10. The Land Beyond

11. True Adventures

x

Track List: Decline Of British Sea Power

1. Men Together Today

2. Apologies To Insect Life

3. Favours In The Beetroot Fields

4. Something Wicked

5. Remember Me

6. Fear Of Drowning

7. The Lonely

8. Carrion

9. Blackout

11. A Wooden Horse

13. Heavenly Waters

x

Track List: Carrion

2. Apologies To Insect Life

x

Track List: From The Sea To The Land Beyond

1. From The Sea To The Land Beyond

2. Remarkable Diving Feat

3. Strange Sports

4. Heroines Of The Cliff

5. The Guillemot Girls

6. Suffragette Riots

7. Heatwave

8. Melancholy Of The Boot

9. Be You Mighty Sparrow?

10. Berth 24

11. Red Rock Riviera

12. Coastguard

13. Perspectives Of Stinky Turner

14. Bonjour Copains

15. The Wild Highlands

16. Docklands Renewed

17. The Islanders

18. Heatwave (Lympne Castle Demo)

x

Track List: Machineries Of Joy

1. Machineries Of Joy

2. K Hole

3. Hail Holy Queen

4. Loving Animals

5. What You Need The Most

6. Monsters Of Sunderland

7. Spring Has Sprung

8. Radio Goddard

9. A Light Above Descending

10. When A Warm Wind Blows Through The Grass

Comments

Report as inappropriate
Truely beautiful
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Got to love this
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minja009
song is making me cry :)
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clara.pettit t
In the last five years, British Sea Power has grown on me. When I first heard them, I found them tough going, because their songs don't follow the typical format of intro - lyrics - chorus - lyrics - chorus - end. But I now own every album, and listen to them almost daily. They create stunning melodies, backed up with superb musicianship , and the most complex lyrics since early David Bowie. Where else are you going to find a gorgeous song about an iceberg?
Report as inappropriate
Horrible Lyrics...
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mattsstuff
awesome
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elliot15
good shite!
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super awesone band reminds of sleepy sun
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Why did this show up on my metal station?!

No, that's a BAD Pandora!
Report as inappropriate
:D
love themmmmm.
amazingg!!
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tacitferd:
a truLY brutish arse who doesn't understand that "INDIE"
means ANYTHING on an INDEPENDENT LABEL.
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nattotastic
tacitferd: oh noes, a worldly 17yo makes a blanket criticism about music. golly, that's never happened before!
Report as inappropriate
warthogger9
indie rock: the one-size fits all label for mediocre people making mediocre music. the ultimate in neutrality, in ambivalence.
Report as inappropriate
plaidsam2002
Compared more than once to Joy Division? Really? I don't see it...except that they're British and Great!
Report as inappropriate
bromide01
That bear on their album cover makes me cry.

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