Concert Review: British Sea Power, Lee’s Palace, March 24th

Toronto – The first time I saw British Sea Power, it was November 7th or 8th, in 2003. It was my second ever show in Toronto. They were playing the Horseshoe. It was my first time at the Horseshoe. It was a crazy show. Despite an excellent debut album (Decline of the British Sea Power), The British Sea Power in 2003 was known more for their stage antics then they were for their music. The stage contained foliage, they wore foliage and they generally had crazy shows which involved various members of the band invading the crowd. One particular moment I recall was Eamon (now part of Brakes) walking through the crowd with a marching drum just going absolutely nuts with it. It was at that moment I though “hmm, probably made the right decision moving here”.

That was roughly seven and a half years ago. Since then the band has delivered three more excellent albums, including 2011 Valhalla Dancehall. While reviews have been lukewarm about Valhalla Dancehall, I think it’s only because the Brighton band have set such a high standard for themselves after 2008’s Do You Like Rock Music?. On Thursday night, British Sea Power took the familiar stage at Lee’s. There was no foliage this time around, but when you have a back catalog as good as British Sea Power’s, there’s no need to do anything but play the tunes.

Once again introduced by Kayvon, who has done this every show in Toronto, the band took the stage in a rather subdue manner. The band played a pair of tracks off Valhalla Dancehall (Who’s in Control, We Are Sound) to start off their set. The newer material sounded very British Sea Power-ish, which isn’t too surprising, since the band seem to be content in creating music within this world they have created. Nothing sounds like the British Sea Power and British Sea Power sounds like nothing else. I don’t know what I just said, but fans of their music will get it. Just in case you thought this was going to be a sole showcase of their new material, the opening riff from Remember Me started and instantly you felt a bit better. Oh Larsen B, one of the tracks off Open Season followed. At this point, Yan announced that his brother (Hamilton) had a cold and would not be singing, which led me to think that I wouldn’t hear Blackout (I didn’t).

The rest of the nineteen (!) song set list featured samples from all the albums, including the track Zeus, off their 2010 EP. Since I’m a big fan, every track sounded good. The addition of Phil Sumner and Abi Fry on keyboards and violins helped create a fuller sound for a lot of the tracks. The encore was rather fabulous, as the band played Waving Flag which naturally merged into the instrumental The Great Skua before launching into Carrion which somehow segued into All in It. The band left to a great ovation. They might be content to stay within their own musical world, but damn I am content to stay it in with them.

At this point, I left the show, satisfied that I had a nice 18 song set. However


Because shortly after, there was a second encore,which featured piggy back riding, crowd surfing and a crazy version of Apologies To Insect Life. Behold, Ladies and Gentleman, my first big concert regret of the year.

Anyways, British Sea Power are awesome and you should check them out.

Who’s In Control
We Are Sound
Remember Me
Oh Larsen B
Stunde Null
Thin Black Sail
Fear of Drowning
The Spirit Of St. Louis
It Ended On An Oily Stage
Living Is So Easy
Lights Out For Darker Skies

Waving Flags
The Great Skua
All In It

Apologies To Insect Life

British Sea Power – Zeus by The Drift Record Shop

Posted on by Ricky in Concerts

About Ricky

Britpop lovin Chinaman, consumer of all things irrelevant. Toronto Raptors fan.

One Response to Concert Review: British Sea Power, Lee’s Palace, March 24th

  1. Inderdeep Rehal

    I too attended this concert! It was my first BSP concert and it was amazing. My love has intensified for the band since the 24th. And you missed out on a mad second encore! Yan got onto Kayvon’s shoulders, fell but continued to sing! It was great!

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