British Sea Power

Lifesize plastic long-eared owl which travels everywhere with the band

It was hot, it was sweaty and it absolutely bloody rocked. Jeremy, Jessica and I were privileged to be among the 150 folks squeezed into Brighton’s Freebutt to see British Sea Power perform one of their famous intimate gigs.

Not a smile between them, but five guys clearly enjoying themselves and utterly immersed in their craft, from the hushed beginnings of the Smallest Church in Sussex to the frantic finale of Lately. Pogo-ing along with the crowd, bashing marching drums with heads and guitars with teeth, they know how to connect an audience to their music. And what music: emotive and visceral, hints of Joy Division, Pixies and crescendos of Spiritualized, moving from the psychedelic noise of Apologies to Insect Life to the searing riff-driven anthems of Remember Me and Carrion. I’m told their appearance at SxSW was something to behold and based on last night’s performance that doesn’t surprise me. Get a taste of British Sea Power for yourself with a free download of The Lonely.

It would be utterly remiss of me not mention the first support act, Morton Valence. Sounding a little like the Postal Service spiced up with trumpet and bouts of frustrated noise, they’ve got the quirkiness and the looks to be noticed. I couldn’t find a website or any releases as yet – if anyone knows otherwise please speak up.