British Sea Power Presents: British Pop Power

British Sea Power Presents: British Pop Power

Brighton’s own British Sea Power made their debut in 2003 with The Decline of the British Sea Power, and their newest album, Let the Dancers Inherit the Party, dropped just the other week. To celebrate, they made a playlist of some of their favorite British power pop tracks.

The Smiths, “Sheila Take a Bow”
“A classic slice of Smiths pop. The Smiths’ highest charting single in the UK and amazingly they never got higher than #10. The song is a nod to Shelagh Delaney, the author of classic kitchen sink drama A Taste of Honey, which in the ’50s commented on issues of class, race, gender and sexual orientation. The cover art features Candy Darling, a trans woman from the Velvets/Warhol era made famous in the Velvet Underground’s ‘Candy Says.’” - Noble

Savages, “Adore”
“I especially like this band live. Incredibly tight musicians who work as a genuine team, making the most of their talents. Angry, intelligent and lovely people.” - Yan

Spiritualized, “Broken Heart”
“An epic, sad song. Not one for getting your vibes up on a Saturday night, but very beautiful.” - Yan

The Pictish Trail, “Rhombus”
“This is a great song from Johnny’s new album. It’s somewhere between Fleet Foxes and Tame Impala. They played with us recently and this one stuck in my head. Johnny’s a legend. He used to run Fence Records, now Lost Map records, and has been putting out music for ages. He also puts on an amazing festival on the remote Scottish island of Eigg that we played at a few years ago. The island is beautiful and recently the inhabitants clubbed together and bought the whole thing. They seem to have their own rules there.” - Noble

Radiohead, “Karma Police”
“It’s kind of an obvious one, but Radiohead is a rare example of a band that deserve to be as big and as respected as they are. This song was off the album where they fully embraced a more experimental take and never looked back.” - Yan

Fat White Family, “Whitest Boy on the Beach”
“I really like these guys. They have a bravery about them and lots of interesting ideas. The music has this intense brooding quality. It’s sung very softly but with odd menace. Apparently, this just started out as a throwaway joke when they were on tour in Europe and went on a beach and stood out for being the whitest bunch on the beach. The video is great, made in the spirit of art, rather than an inoffensive pop video.” - Noble

XTC, “Making Plans for Nigel”
“I just really like this song. It tends to stay around in my head for weeks, so be careful.” - Yan

Blur, “This is a Low”
“This dreamy tune is a Blur highlight. Some ace guitar… Takes you on a psycho-geographic tour, with a relaxing melancholy undertow.” - Yan

Jock Scot & Gareth Sager, “Trip to Butlins”
“The late, great Scottish rock poet with a feel-good rant about getting blasted at this popular holiday spot. Beautiful words and a real punk spirit – we were so lucky to have Jock join us at several shows before his sad, sad death in 2016.” - Yan

The Libertines, “Don’t Look Back into the Sun”
“With so much supermodel- and heroin-based gossip surrounding this band, it’s easy to forget what good music they’ve made. The first album’s best, but this track captures them before they went charmingly random-gonzo.” - Yan

Black Grape, “Shake Your Money”
“Shaun William Ryder is a great character and lyricist and this song shows he still capable of greatness after Happy Mondays. I like his sparring with UK rapper Kermit who, long before grime, showed that the UK could produce rappers who didn’t do it in American accents and were good!” - Yan

Dizzee Rascal, “Fix Up, Look Sharp”
“This track was a highlight on an album that signaled a big change in English rap. A rawness and an intelligence combined with a lo-fi direct sound. Amazing stuff.” - Yan

The Fall, “Totally Wired”
“Possibly the grumpiest and most enduring talent to come out of Northern England. I wouldn’t necessarily want to go on a long drive with him, but he’s never asked so…” - Yan

Earl Brutus, “Navy Head”
“These guys were around in the ’90s. Slightly older ragged men during the chintzy Brit-Pop era.
They had a slightly yobbish anarchy about them, but with snarling intelligence behind it all. When they were around I was young and only liked current music made by young people. Then, when I got into Iggy Pop, these guys made sense. They did a live radio show at one of our club nights and one New Year’s Eve a few of them joined us on stage for a multi-drum-banging Velvets jam. Nick ‘Sandy’ Sanderson sadly passed away a few years ago after a stint in his dream job as a train driver and we played a send off show with the Jesus & Mary Chain to raise some money for his family.” - Noble

The Tornados, “Telstar”
“You can’t have a list of UK pop without Joe Meek. Before he shot himself in 1967, this studio innovator and occult enthusiast was the master of out-there recording inspiration – with massive tunes and enduring space vibes, as on this instrumental Transatlantic chart-topper from 1962.” – Yan

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