Live at Leeds Metropolitan University on Monday, 13th October 2008
Female-fronted ensemble playing piano with auburn hair and vintage-style dress. No I'm not talking about Kate Nash but Rose Elinor Dougall aka Rose formerly of the Pipettes. If you can forgive me the obvious comparisons in look and sometimes sound then it's a useful reference for her melodic pop (though preferable to Nash in my opinion, on tonight's evidence). Playing only their 2nd ever show together, her band deserved credit for producing a solid display in front of a sizeable crowd. Their set jingled along happily and upcoming single Another Version Of Pop Song indicates that she has an eye (and an ear) for a tune.
Film Show demonstrated a rare ability to produce epic songs especially given the short amount of time they occupied the stage, which wasn't surprising for a seasoned act. Lead singer Krayg Burton led the mayhem with energy and he was ably flanked by their mad-scientist guitarist with a mop of frizzy hair and dark-rimmed glasses. This frenzy of guitar went over and above what you would usually expect for a support act.
Having seen British Sea Power play twice before I was unsure as to which version was going to turn-up. The first time, their sound was washed away by the echoey acoustics at Granary Wharf and they seemed detached from the audience but on the second they delivered an electric performance previewing recent album Do You Like Rock Music? at York Fibbers (which I had to leave early, cursed train times).
Singles Waving Flags and No Lucifer, which encouraged a raft of 'easy, easy' chants were understandably the most well-known as interchanging front men Yan and Hamilton's haunting vocals clash against forceful guitar riffs.
Live favourites Remember Me, Carrion and Larsen B are sung back with force. Quieter moments such as Canvey Island and The Land Beyond offered a respite for those who braved an increasingly volatile moshpit to which guitarist Noble lost a shoe in the midst of his first stage dive.
An the end of the gig, the band indulged in what must surely be a unique mix of stage-diving, extended guitar frazzling and the appearance of their own 10 foot bear Ursine Ultra. The animal first braved the walk along the secure area at the front of the stage (despite one person's valiant attempts to pull said beast over the barrier) then up to join the farewell from the stage. They also seemed more willing to engage with the crowd than previously, with Yan even saying the odd word and taking requests at one point.
A mix of unusually-themed cult anthems and their unusual stage invaders make British Sea Power an enthralling live act. Tonight they fell on the right side of the boundary as they managed satisfy the audience, deliver a focused showing still with their own unique values not compromised. Third time lucky indeed.