British Sea Power - Salty Water

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Interview with Noble

Displaying the tenacity and youthful exuberance of Enid Blyton's 'famous five', a group of handsome fellows from Cumbria moved to Brighton and decided to form a band that would change the face of British rock music forever. Whilst simultaneously embracing a love of nature, first world-war memorabilia and taxidermy.

That band was and is British Sea Power. In my wisdom, I devised a fiendish list of questions to stimulate and challenge their intellect. The mysteriously monikered 'Noble the guitarist' rose to the challenge.

Elaborate, theatrical live displays; Czech writers; family shows on Scillonian island; owls; an album that refuses to be categorised even after repeated listens- I'm frightened, confused and elated. What should I do?
Run and hide, covering your head with your hands. Then stare up at the sky while drooling and looking befuddled. Finally, jump up and down while laughing and shouting made-up words at passing schoolgirls. These three behaviour patterns will adequately communicate fright, confusing and discovery of strange joy.

My sources tell me you are currently touring the United States of America. How is the campaign going?
We are now back from North America. It was all gravy. We got to holler in the canyons in Zion national park in Utah and go to a fish and chip shop in Atlanta where you could have whiting, trout, catfish or croaker. Ringo's sistrer-in-law came to see us in LA and bought three copies of our album, including one for Mr. Starr. We also had two of the girl actresses from 'Sex and the City' at our New York show, but I'm not sure which ones. The audiences were great, but they tended to bring us less presents than people do in Europe. On our last Continental dates we got cakes, books, glassware, paintings and hats. In Norway someone bought us a horse. It was a little horse, a bit like a Shetland pony, but we couldn't get it on the tour bus. We think it's only a matter of time before American audiences start bringing us presents too.

An interesting thought occurred to me: with all the on-stage detritus, uniforms and stage names, are you perhaps kindred spirits with Slipknot? Who are more dangerous to the youth of today?
Good point. Don't slipknot have a dead crow in a jar? There you go. We have an interest in birds also. I'm not sure who's most dangerous, but Slipknot do make a Powerful sound. However, they only dress as monsters. We have a real life Orc in our band. He's called Eamon and he plays keyboards and bangs a drum.

With such noted luminaries as Jarvis Cocker, Jeremy Vine and Douglas Coupland amongst your admirers, do you ever fear the arrival of Sadie Frost and Kate Moss at future BSP shows?
No, all are welcome. Apart from Donald Rumsefeldt and Anthea Turner.

'Brish Sea Power's classic the decline of British Sea Power': nearly a year on from its release, can you offer any insight into the contradictory self love ('Classic') and self deprecation ('decline') of this musical opus your subsequent success?
We believe you can sometimes do more than one thing at once. Eat an apple while walking, read while having a bath. Some of our songs even contain words AND music. Every good band should both brilliant and ridiculous, on the rise and in decline. You know what they say, there's harmony and dischord and world in between. Who would want to be anywhere else except in between?

Can you please give a few details as to the nature and estimated time of arrival for your next musical venture?
Our next release is out Czech record which is out in april and has us, plus vocals from the great Katerina Winterova of the Czech band the ecstasy of saint Theresa. You'll have to move fast though- only 1, 942 copies in the whole wide world. We are also working toward our second album right now; It'll deal with Trewsbury Mead and the particular joy of American tan tights in a tiger moth. It'll sound like the exact mid point between Sigur Ros and John Betjeman. Remember, imitation is the sincerest form of forgery.

The idea of individual music 'scenes' is surely an evil tool of modern journalism to pigeonhole types of music, yet two years ago you were one of a number of bands to endorse "the official Brighton and hove 2002 contemporary music scene." Please explain the nature of this bohemian outfit. Is it still going strong two years on?
We love a pigeonhole, especially if it contains a pair of cooing collared doves. TheOB&H2002CMC is still going from strength to strength. The hives, sleepy Jackson and Helen Mirren have all recently joined.


Author: Stu Love
Source: Fused Magazine
Date: 1st April 2004

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