British Sea Power were introduced on stage by Radio 1’s Colin Murray as “Mercury nominated”, highlighting this acalade to anyone who may not have taken much notice when the album of the year shortlist was announced. The success of ‘Do You Like Rock Music?’ has propelled British Sea Power’ to a summer playing their biggest festival dates, headlining the second stage at Guilfest and graduating to the Main Stage at Leeds and Reading. This early afternoon slot came in between two more rock driven UK acts in The Automatic and Subways, but BSP certainly held their own.
Backed by their usual stage set of nautical flags, British Sea Power were clearly in the mood for celebrating the current for this was a set made up of tracks from their 2008 album. ‘Waving Flags’ and ‘No Lucifer’ were singles to be played, but there was no sign of older releases such as ‘Carrion’ or ‘Please Stand Up’. That’s not to downplay the quality of an excellent recent LP, but as someone who has watched British Sea Power play the smaller stages at this festival in previous years, I’d have liked them to take advantage of some of the fantastic older material they have at their disposal.
BSP can be something of an acquired taste but they certainly passed the Main Stage test. I may have wanted more but they should have earned themselves a few new fans from this set.