Tuesday, May 17, 2005

adventures at sea



British Sea Power have rocking verbal flair. They have spirit. They have crazy eyes. And striped scarves. And singing birds. Where Ted Leo might be the musician whose songs would prove great practice for any SAT Verbal section, BSP can write a hell of a song about an ice shelf, use foliage and pheasants as decoration for sets, and then tell trees to f*ck off.

Their newsletters, which are a joy to read, are named after flora and fauna - Newsboost Gypsywort, Newsboost Beagle, Newsboost Douglas Fir, and maybe other things... (Caravelle? Ruslan? Magister?) They are a band with members who have names not like Tom or Chris but stranger, eerie-er constructions like Yan, Noble, Hamilton, Wood, and Eamon. These fine five lads, who could only hail from the salty seaside cities of Britannia, play the hell out of a show, as this blurb from a Rolling Stones review of a festival crows: "Fuck this puerile drivel, we're going to see British Sea Power... All of them have crazy acid-fried stares, the bass player is wearing tree branches on his head and one deliriously psycho-delic tune concludes with singer Yan beating on the drum-kit with a large stuffed owl. British Sea Power rule."

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Examining the crowd at a show is always an interesting venture, as there is never quite the same intersection of interest in musicians between two people (just like if you don't know the band I'm talking about, you will most likely zone out all these extraneous words and glance at my blurry pictures). I know a lot of people were at the Bowery this past weekend to catch a little Feist magic but I hope there were some in the crowd, who like me, were beyond excited when I found out that she had been added on. Though, while I do like Feist and I did think it a bit of strange bill-sharing. Nonetheless, she was her charming self, trying her hardest, in vain, to get ny audiences to sing along, snap, clap along, show any outward signs of life. I liked her at Joe's Pub better though -- smaller venue better for loungier music and playing with a band gave her a different sort of energy.
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Anyhoo, local boys, pela open opened, performing a solid set. And BSP, under their majestic bear and deer banners, were just great. There was much craziness with Eamon donning his military hat and beating his drum, crowd surfing upside down, at one point getting into the face of one girl and bellowing "oh-ee-oh-ee-oh-ee-oh-ee" while brandishing a drum stick.
Noble jumped off amps, broke a guitar string from over-rocking and dragged the still-playing-guitar Eamon across the floor of the stage a couple times. Hamilton hit himself on the head while jumping up and down in between mad bass-ing. Wood was just a crazy blur of arms on the drums. And Yan, he talked to this bird.
More pics of the show at Flickr

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