British Sea Power
HOLLY STEVENSON: nice songs, shame about the static band and exceedingly long set.
The Junction, Sunday 20th February, £13.50
British Sea Power are a band who don’t just like to play songs for their audience at a live show: they give them the full ‘experience’.
Who’s In Control, the single off their latest album, Valhalla Dancehall, was the perfect opener, a glittery stomp of a song that sounded like The Cure brought into the 21st Century. The energy didn’t let up with Scottish Wildlife Experience and Stunde Null. Scottish Wildlife Experience only appears on the vinyl release version of Remember Me, and it demonstrated how much faith they have in the loyalty of their fans and how comfortable they are with their material.
Though, perhaps a little too comfortable; the stage was covered in various sprigs of foliage, and for the first few songs I was trying to work out the deeper significance of this mysterious greenery. Then, I realised it was a statement on their vegetative state.
No matter the tone, British Sea Power just stood on the stage. Although out of their instruments came songs that filled the whole venue and made you want to stamp your feet, the backing vocalist looked like she was actually having a nap between choruses. It was eerie.
By the end I knew how she felt: British Sea Power played for TWO hours without a break. By the end the songs had all started to blur into a single anodyne indie mush. The rest of the audience were getting impatient and bored too; so much so that during the final, semi-improvised Rock in A the floor visibly emptied.
So, note to British Sea Power: an extensive back catalogue is no excuse to bore your audience. If you’d finished 45 minutes earlier, I would have given at least four stars. It’s your own fault.