INTERVIEW: British Sea Power

Updated: Apr 9, 2019

"I'm over the moon. The North East is the San Francisco of the UK!"

Brighton based indie rockers, British Sea Power, are set to head to The ARC in Stockton later this month. North East Noise caught up with them for a chat.

Tell us a little bit about how you guys became a band?

Me and Martin used to drink too much. It started with alcho pops but moved on to wine and then Tennents special super strength lager in the morning. It was fun for a while but got a bit unhealthy in the end and was leading to darker things. We had to do something, so we substituted music and a naive get rich quick scheme to top the charts with an altruistic vision to bring high minded ideas to the masses. It worked out in some ways as we are pretty healthy now and I’m close to saving up the deposit on a speed boat.

What’s been the highlight of your musical journey to date?

Probably playing a free concert on the Great Wall of China to a huge crowd who weren’t sure who we were, but really loved it. They went absolutely bonkers. It was like the second coming. Then we went home.

Over the years, critics have compared you to the likes of The Cure and Joy Division. Are there any particular influences that you feel have helped shape your sound?

Pavement, Laibach, Seger Gainsbourg  and P Diddy.

You’ve spent a lot of your career in Brighton, as you’re due to play The ARC in Stockton shortly, are you excited to play on Northern Soil?

I’m over the moon. The North East is the San Francisco of the UK. Brighton sucks!

Tell us about your past experiences of playing to North East crowds?

Last time we all lost our voices doing power shouts which we were told is a local custom. I think the guy just made it up looking back. But it was great fun. We’ve been working hard through festival season though, so this gig will be even better. Could hopefully be a pretty special moment.

The wide ranging nature of your material can’t be denied, after the release of your first album ‘The Decline of British Sea Power’ in 2003, how do you feel your music has changed and evolved?

We like to try out different approaches but I don’t think the essential flavour of what we do has shifted too much. 

You’re renowned for your live performances and your choices of unique gig locations. From experience, tell us about the most ‘out there’ set you’ve ever played? Can we expect any surprises at your upcoming ARC show?

Me and Nobby did a Score to a space documentary in Cern, Switzerland. All our instruments went missing on the flight so we had to play it all off my laptop and dress in silver foil space/daft punk suits and dance Milli Vanilli style to get things going. Weirdly it was an ecstatic response. Not sure why we went back to the whole authentic band thing after that really. It was brilliant.

What have British Sea Power got planned for the future?

Just sort of diving in without a well thought out plan and hoping for the best in general. It’s utter chaos at the moment. I’ve recently started doing basic building work. Heavy labouring is the future.

British Sea Power will play The Arc, Stockton on Thursday 26th October. Tickets are available from:

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