Last year British Sea Power were given access to a full-size brass orchestra with which to tour the country, and here are the impressive results. The band and the brass move around each other sensitively and, at times, with overwhelming power as they move through choice cuts from BSP’s back catalogue. Available as regular CD, and expanded double LP, and a triple CD with DVD! Fantastic!
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- Sea Of Brass by British Sea Power
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What normally happens when a band reaches a certain level is that it goes on tour with an enormous orchestra in tow. British Sea Power are always a tiny bit different so they’ve dragged a massive brass orchestra with them (at presumably huge expense) and have reworked their songs with the brass guys in tow.
Now I might as well admit it now, I’m no British Sea Power fan and only know slithers for their back catalogue so I’m not going to be the best person to give comparisons to the original work. For the uninitiated the band are a big thumping emotional stadium reaching lot with enough subtlety to stand apart from your Coldplays etc. On ‘Once More Now’ they play a mid-paced type thing that threatens to explode but never quite does. The brass sits in the background - occasionally reaching crescendo’s then dipping out of sight. This is a typical British Sea Power track in that it’s not unpleasant to the ear but doesn’t really inspire. Being live takes they sit in that funny place betwixt two stools - too polished to be like being at a show but the occasional flub revealing that this ain’t no controlled studio environment.
Most of the tracks are mid paced, rarely getting out of second gear - for some reason I expected them thing to be rocking but they are kind of holding off. I’m not sure what they are doing on ‘Atom’, it grinds to a halt half way through and then starts pumping quite nicely. The brass parps along nicely and I bet this was a belter to see live with so many people blowing into horns at the same time. Maybe it should have stayed in the live environment but this is a well recorded document of the tour - the addition of the brass certainly doesn’t ruin BSP’s songs some might say as they aren’t all that inspiring in the first place. But if you are a fan then you’ll enjoy this.
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