Imagine the worst club you’ve ever been to. Sticky floors, horrible decor, etc. Now fill that with fantastic music, reasonably priced drinks and masses and masses of drunk, horny and confused indie teens and you’ve got the New Slang clubnight, tonight playing host to one of the most infamous live bands in the British rock scene at the moment, British Sea Power. Famed for their emphatic live performances featuring members going nuts, jumping into the crowd, climbing rigs, dressing in animal costumes, military uniforms and generally doing things you wouldn’t normally expect from a mercury nominated band. Tonight was a much more stripped down affair, minus all of the on stage antics and seemingly a lot of energy. This did not detract from the actual music too much, although I did get my hopes up expecting at least one guitarist to freak out and smash stuff up.
Saying that these sort of club nights are often tough gigs mainly because half of the people turning up are just there to ‘go out’ and have no idea who the band actually are, lead singer Yan did try to evoke more of a response from the crowd which probably didn’t go down as well as hoped although they did have an allegiance of loyal followers crammed down the front who didn’t stop dancing the whole gig. This instance was a great opportunity for me to stand to one side of the main crowd, take in the music and reacquaint myself with a band I hadn’t given as much time as I probably should have done over the last few years with a set full of highlights from their five albums.
Having received a promo of their latest offering Valhalla Dancehall a few weeks prior and being impeccably impressed, I was eager to check out the new material just as much as the old. They opened with the first three songs off of Valhalla back to back, which got the night off to the right start with frantic guitar lines, pounding drums and mental lyrics, very reminiscent of their first triumph ‘The Decline Of British Sea Power’ and certainly showcases a return to the more hard edged, fast paced rock songs of the debut. The encore included Zeus and they ended with Carrion, one of the quieter songs from the first album signifying a gig that, although the music was excellent, it was British Sea Power going at half speed.
Words : Gordon Reid
Photos : James Perou