Tuesday, October 14, 2008

BRITISH SEA POWER @ LEEDS MET UNI 13 OCTOBER 2008

Now this WAS a top ten BSP gig! What a difference 24 hours makes - and how poorer the Manchester experience (crowd and sound mix) was when compared to this Leeds one. Shame it all ended for me with a guitarist calling Noble jumping on my head during the encore. No neck brace was needed but it was a long, painful journey home.

This was my first visit to Leeds Met Uni. It's a purpose built venue by the look of it, solid square box-shape room with high ceiling. Probably takes about 1000 but feels quite intimate. I did think I had been there before but it was the OTHER student union (and so this spares me having to confess to seeing Level 42 there in 1985 or 1986).

Surprised (especially given the previous night's early doors timing) to arrive in time to see the first support Rose Elinor Dougall. Since Sing Ye From The Hillsides (here) she has found a frighteningly young looking band to accompany her - tonight being their second gig. The style was much the same - 60s tinged torch-song pop- but benefited from a fuller band sound. At one point Rose swapped keyboard to stand stage-right and sing - and suddenly it felt she came a bit more alive when standing behind the microphone. She seemed more at ease and more animated. My advice: get out from behind the keyboard and be a proper front woman, it is your band after all.

Having endured Film School the night before, we gave this one a miss. BSP came on stage about 10pm. It was pretty much same the set list as Manchester (with A Wooden Horse replacing A Lovely Day Tomorrow) but in different order. At one point Yan suggested Noble had asked for requests - they were besieged, mainly I thought for Childhood Memories but it was not to be. The sound here was spot on, the crowd hugely energetic from the off and the pace and energy never dipped.

To reach the end was almost a relief in some ways - it was so hot, so frenetic that I was glad of a short respite before the encores. The usual madness ensued with the closing song: the bear appeared, Noble and Phil launched themselves from the stage and crowd-surfed and the whole place rocked with delight. So shame to then take a direct hit from Noble on this second jump whilst I was looking away. It was an almighty thwack that had me reeling and meant I had to duck out from the front for the last few minutes to rest my head and neck against a wall.

This did however mean I was first in queue at the merchandise stall at the end to pick up a British Tea Power mug for Mrs A. I strongly suspected this would be banished straight to the Archive with a disdainful wave of the hand. But I was pleasantly surprised to see the mug used by Mrs A for her morning brew. So the it might well yet become a well-used breakfast companion. Order yours here.

Despite a sound night's sleep the neck is still pretty sore. If I was a lesser person (or an American) I would be feeling litigious. But I'm surely this can be settled amicably: I can easily be bought of with a new T-shirt and some bottles of British Ale Power. My people will be waiting to hear from your people ...

The Set List:
Atom
Remember Me
Fear of Drowning
Larsen B
Waving Flags
The Great Skua
Down On The Ground
A Trip Out
The Land Beyond
Lights Out For Darker Skies
Carrion
Canvey Island
Apologies To Insect Life
A Wooden Horse
---
No Lucifer
Spirit of St Louis/Rock

A WOODEN HORSE
British Sea Power
The Decline of British Sea Power [BUY]

THE GREAT SKUA
British Sea Power
Do You Like Rock Music? [BUY]

CHILDHOOD MEMORIES (Acoustic)
British Sea Power
KEXP Session 25 February 2004

1 comment:

High Priestess of Punk-chew-ation said...

My dear Mr A, haven't you ever heard the adage 'any port in a storm?' (I'm sure BSP would appreciate it ..) It was 7.10am, the kettle was boiling, the mug was on the kitchen surface and there was a tea-bag within reach. Crucially, the BTP mug is white inside. It will do. But please do not read into my use of the mug any form of growing enthusiasm for the music made by the mug's creators. Thanks. Ms (not MRS) A