As I’m now officially on garden leave for a few months, I thought I’d take the first opportunity to spread my wings a little bit. I was keen to see what it felt like to be someone with no responsibilities whatsoever (ish), so I took off to go see the mighty British Sea Power in Brighton. Now I accept that this isn’t exactly trekking the Hindu Kush, but one step at a time…
I met the boy down in Brighton on a bitterly cold February day where for once, the south coast was far colder than Yorkshire. Brighton was a bit of a revelation to me to be honest, people have been telling me for ages how cool it is and I can happily report they are right. After a decent feed in Jamie’s Italian (very good) we found a decent pub in which to shelter from the driving snow til the gig started. The evening started well when the barman in the pub played BSP (via my ipod) through the pub’s soundsystem to bewildered punters.
The band were playing in a weird little nightclub and the crowd were pretty subdued. The boys from the north soon sorted that out! BSP played a blinding set healthily peppered with new tracks along with old faithfuls. No sign of Remember Me though – I wonder if it’s becoming their version of ‘Creep’ (radiohead famously wouldn’t play it for years after the first album).
The venue was so small, it was hard not be close to the band, but we were right up the front as is the tradition at these events! Yan had liberally applied fluorescent gaffer tape all over his body, Noble was sporting a fetching beard, Phil was be-caped and Scott’s hair has grown dramatically. On top of this, Woody played a song from under a towel in a sparkling display of drumming skills and Abby seemed like she’d always been in the band.
As usual, when the gig finished, I looked like I’d been in the shower. After a slow buidlup, we got the crowd going nicely with a small band of us going for broke – particularly near the end with Flags, Skua, Lucifer, Carrion et al. The new tracks sound really good even though the sound wasn’t completely amazing in Audio, but there’s enough to tell us that the new album has some gems on there.
The compulsory visit to the merch stand bore fruit with new tees and an outrageous scarf, personally picked out by Scott for his limited edition collection. Welsh paul handed me the setlist and the evening was complete:
This was the first BSP gig of the year and a nice way to usher in a momentous year for the band, with a new record coming out around May time. There’s been talk of another Tan Hill event to coincide with the launch of the album, which would be well worth saving some brownie points for.