Sea Power

On a damp rain-soaked west country evening, the iconic British indie rock band, now known as Sea Power, took to the stage at The Trinity Centre in Bristol to...
Sea Power : Live
Sea Power : Live

On a damp rain-soaked west country evening, Thursday, February 15th, the iconic British indie rock band, now known as Sea Power, took to the stage at The Trinity Centre in Bristol to commemorate the 15th anniversary of their third album, Do You Like Rock Music?. The tour comes as a celebration of the band’s third studio album, Do You Like Rock Music? (QRO review), which was released back in 2008 and earned the band a Mercury nomination.

Martin Noble

The venue, known for its intimate yet electric atmosphere, was brimming with eager fans, as Sea Power prepared to deliver a performance that would not only celebrate their milestone album but also captivate the sold-out Bristol crowd.

As the lights dimmed and anticipation filled the air, Yan Scott Wilkinson, the band’s charismatic frontman, took his place at the centre of the stage raising their beer glasses to the crowd (they welcome fans of alcohol after all!), his guitar in hand. Flanking him were Neil Hamilton Wilkinson on bass, Martin Noble on guitar, Phil Sumner on keyboards, trumpet (and yes… air raid siren), Abi Fry on violin, and Tom White on drums. Each member exuded a unique energy, adding to the dynamic presence of the band as they launched into the opening notes of Do You Like Rock Music?.

Neil Hamilton Wilkinson

The stage was adorned with branches from trees, twinkling fairy lights, and nautical signal flags, creating a whimsical yet atmospheric backdrop for the evening. As Sea Power began to play, the large warm bulbs hanging from the ceiling cast an ethereal glow, enhancing the mood and adding to the enchantment of the performance.

The setlist took the audience on a nostalgic journey through the tracks of Do You Like Rock Music? in its entirety.

The epic choruses and chiming guitars on “Waving Flags” and “Down on the Ground” sounded epic, and demanded audience participation. “No Lucifer” started up the chanting along of “Easy! Easy! Easy!” which only went to bring the band and audience closer together with members of the crowd, swept up in the waves of the lyrics surrounding what many consider to be the most complete Sea Power album.

Abi Fry

There were scrappy garage punky guitars on “A Trip Out” that sustained the song from start to finish, and “Atom” which built and built into a frenzy that crashed and thrashed the senses, and Sea Power launched their secret weapon: an ‘air raid siren’ in which Sumner jumped upon and built up to breakneck speed before winding it down.

In comparison, “Canvey Island” weighed down the album’s middle section with its hesitant pace and expository lyrics: “Like Canvey Island, 1953. Where many lives were lost, and the records of a football team.” An elegant song that built to its conclusion.

Tom White

As the main set ended with “Open the Door”, which dialled it back for a surprisingly tender folk-pop chorus and a strong, short guitar solo from Noble, Sea Power left the stage to thunderous applause, only to return moments later for an electrifying encore.

This section saw the band return to play a selection of popular favourite from the rest of their album releases, including “Remember Me” and “Carrion”, old favourites from their debut album The Decline of British Sea Power, resonated deeply with the crowd, eliciting cheers and sing-alongs.

During “Two Fingers”, a spirited anthem from Everything Was Forever (QRO review) released just last year, the audience enthusiastically joined in, raising two-fingered victory salutes as they sang along with the chorus. The camaraderie between band and audience was palpable, creating an electric atmosphere that filled the venue with energy and excitement.

crowd surf
Yan Scott Wilkinson

Throughout the performance, Martin Noble’s exuberance was on full display, culminating in a thrilling moment when he indulged in some crowd surfing. His daring antics only added to the sense of spontaneity and exhilaration that permeated the show, further endearing Sea Power to their adoring fans.

The evening culminated in a rousing rendition of “All in It”, bringing the night full circle and leaving the audience exhilarated. As the final notes faded away, Sea Power stood united on stage (glasses raised), their bond as a band stronger than ever, and their legacy as one of Britain’s most beloved indie acts firmly cemented in the hearts of their fans.

Sea Power

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