My favourite band, playing one of my favourite albums, playing one of my favourite venues. It has to be a recipe for either the biggest disappointments of the year, or one of the best gigs of the year.
Thankfully, it turned out to be the later!
Tonight was a special evening. BSP were going to play through Decline to celebrate 12th anniversary of it’s release and support it’s recent re-issue. The Decline of British Sea Power is a fantastic debut album. It lays the foundations of everything the band has become. From blustering Pixies inspired indie rock, to thoughtful fantastical lyrics that go beyond the simple love songs most bands sing. This album is their DNA. Tonight also saw the return of their original keyboard player, Eamon. So it was bound to be an emotional evening and the crowd knew it would be.
The evening started in the best way possible with another of my favourite bands, a set by Japanese noise merchants, Bo Ningen. They’ve supported BSP a number of times and BSP always seem happy to share a bill with them. Not many bands would do. They put on a fantastic live show. Tonight was no exception.
The crowd were up for this gig from the off. As soon as BSP started playing, the crowd erupted. It never let up until BSP left the stage nearly 2 hours later. The band were also immediately in their stride. This gig meant everything and no one was going to let the side down.
I wasn’t sure what to expect with the addition of Eamon. Although I’ve followed the band since the week of the release of Decline. I didn’t go to watch them play live until about 2009. I had no friends who liked BSP and in those days, if I couldn’t persuade somebody to go to the gig with me, I didn’t go. So other than performances I’ve seen online and on TV, I’d never seen Eamon in the band. So was concerned that he’d alter the current dynamic.
I shouldn’t have worried. Eamon’s job was simply to be the mascot for the evening. Don’t get me wrong. He did play on many of the songs. But he’d pick up his drum and roam around the stage or crowd surf with the audience. The bear also made an appearance and crowd surfed.
By the end of the gig. Everyone was drenched and I had several bruised ribs from being crushed on the barrier. This was a perfect gig. The crowd the perfect crowd and the venue, the perfect venue. God I love this band.