Hot Puppies

And So The Question Is – Do You Like Rock Music? More

BD1 LiVE Live Review

Written By Michael Wood Sunday, January 27th, 2008

British Sea Power, Hot Puppies and fourteencorners BD1 Live at St George's Hall and Brewery Arts Centre, Bradford and Kendal

British Sea Power - Live Review BD1 Live, St George's Hall Bradford with Hot Puppies & fourteencorners in September 2007 and Brewery Arts Centre Kendal in February 2008

British Sea Power are playing a fifteen minute guitar solo and I doubt I have ever been more bored in my entire band watching life.

The sort-of Brighton but not really four piece are running out the end of an uninspired set at Bradford's St George's Hall that has seen a magnificent support from Fourteencorners and some excellent work from Hot Puppies but Sea Power - despite the promises - are dull.

Those promises came from guys. Guy who had travelled. Guys had travelled from far and wide to see this band perform in this not on tour stop for BD1's November outing and specifically the promise came from a guy who had travelled from Ipswich just for the night.

"These," he tells me, "Are the only British band who can rival the Canadians." He goes into a wonderful dewy eye reminisce about seeing Arcade Fire live and prepares for the UK's answer to smart rock. Well he should do because British Sea Power while taking themselves rather seriously - The Brakes without the laughs - are a superb band on album but tonight they are simply dull.

They open with a few recognisable tunes but quickly bring confusion to even the most ardent listener with a range of hitherto unheard tracks and lengthy middle sections which are unwelcome. They play a few recognisable tunes and in doing so at least provide a frame of reference as we swim in a lost water of indigence, adrift in the chasms of space in Bradford's prestige venue.

"We only have two more..."

"We only have two more songs to play in Kendal and Larsen B isn't on of them" Hamilton tells the rapturous collective of men and women who have braved the freezing Lake District air to pack into the 250 or fewer capacity arts centre in BSP's other home town and they have played Remember Me and Fear of Drowning tonight but almost everything else has been from the newly released second best album of the year 2008 - behind The Magnetic Field's Distortion in case you are wondering what my humble opinion is - but familiarity has bred response.

British Sea Power - with added Brakes and Electric Soft Parade drummer Tom White, a violinist girl and some guy in a fantastic hat playing a fog horn - are thriving in the sort of venue that getting a top ten album - Do You Like Rock Music? is at ten in the album parade at time of writing - should preclude but having blasted out Lights Out For Darker Skies on entry to the eight foot highceiling-ed room so they smashed energetically, powerfully, wilfully through a collection which they obviously consider - perhaps with justification - the best songs they have done.

Canvey Island is epic, No Lucifer well received and Waving Flags anthemic and all are played with a confidence that borders on and might slip into arrogance but as the title suggests this is Rock Music and Rock Music should be presented with the confident sneer that Yan, Noble and especially Hamilton exude. Do you like Rock Music? they challenge, because if you so you are not going to hear better than this.

And there is atmosphere aplenty and there is Noble diving into the sea and powered by the arms of the audience walking inverted around the small room without every letting his stern poker face slip and returning the the stage to be fiercely thrown to the floor and standing a veteran of showmanship during the same fifteen minute guitar solo.