British Sea Power - Reading 2005

The Radio 1 tent was treated to the usual fun and games from one of the best cult bands this country has to offer. The stage set featured shrubs and plastic owls as usual when British Sea Power do their thing, but this time there was the added amusement of people in the crowd having brought along their own bits of trees and other assorted plant life.

The set opened with the unusual tactic of a B-side. Having only seen BSP once before I can’t say whether this is usual practice for them as they didn’t do it on the previous occasion, but for a festival act it was a nice change from the predictable opening track from the most recent album, good though that often can be. In terms of the latest album ‘Open Season’, they only played a small number, choosing to drop the first single ‘It Ended on an Oily Stage’, but retaining ‘Please Stand Up. This song should have been massive and has the legs to be a radio anthem in the same way as Dandy Warhols ‘Bohemian Like You’ or ‘Ashes’ by Embrace. Sadly it was a touch overlooked but still went down extremely well on this Sunday afternoon in Reading. It goes without saying that the classic ‘Carrion’ was also well received.

The cover of the ‘Open Season’ album has a picture of a bear on it and sure enough one of those firry creatures made an appearance for the epic set closer ‘Lately’, which on this occasion lasted over fifteen minutes.

Visually British Sea Power are one of the most intriguing bands around, musically when they play live they mix the experimental with great Indy pop songs and are a must see if ever you get the chance.