British Sea Power: Met University, Leeds

A capacity crowd gathered early to see British Sea Power do a laid back set before the support band played. The band described it as a set to warm up the crowd and loosen their bum cheeks. This five track performance was a collection of their quieter material showcasing their knack for creative ambience and beautiful soft tones, set against a scenic and serene back projection.

As they emerged for their main set there was a noticeable shift in the projected images at the back of the stage. The beautiful scenery of the first set had been replaced with much brighter, livelier, images accompanied by twinkling lights that covered the on-stage trees. They began with ‘Machines Of Joy’, it was a faultless performance and instantly had the crowd in awe of them. As they began the second track ‘Lights Out For Darker Skies’ the backdrop changed to moodier scenes to fit the tone of the song.

The artistry, creativity and intelligence of the band combines with their energy to produce songs which grow, branch out and spread from their initial starting point, perhaps not surprising for a band so obsessed and influenced by nature. Their ability to create these unique pieces with such artistic flair and integrity results in the audience being completely captivated by them. The audience stood in appreciative silence, completely gripped by what they were hearing, then busting out into enthusiastic and genuinely warm, loving applause and the end of each track.

British Sea Power are adored by their fans and in return they clearly put lots of thought and affection into ensuring the crowd has a good time. Some of this was in the form of little subtleties like having Zippy from Rainbow projected on the screen so that he appeared to be singing along with the chorus during ‘Loving Animals’. They also incorporated some grand gestures, the main one being having a giant polar bear and a giant black bear on stage during the final song (obviously not real ones, they wouldn’t condone such animal cruelty).

The main way they repaid their doting fans was by supplying them with a perfectly constructed set lasting over two hours, showcasing the wide variety of styles they are highly capable of. The warm up was inventive, the main set upbeat, and the encore was designed for the crowd to sing-a-long in a triumphant crescendo.

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