About Sea Power
Sea Power, previously known as British Sea Power and initially as British Air Powers, are an English alternative rock band. The group's original lineup consisted of Scott Wilkinson, known as Yan; Martin Noble, known as Noble; and Alison Cotton. By the time the band had begun its recorded career, Cotton had departed, and two new members had joined: Neil Hamilton Wilkinson, known as Hamilton; and Matthew Wood, known as Wood. Eamon Hamilton joined the band in autumn 2002. He left in 2006 and was subsequently replaced by Phil Sumner, with Abi Fry joining the band in 2008.
The wide-ranging nature of the band's material has led critics to liken their sound to a variety of groups, from The Cure and Joy Division to Pixies and Arcade Fire. The band are famed for their live performances, the unusual lyrical content of their songs and the adventurous choice of locations for some of their shows.
British Sea Power's Yan and Hamilton are brothers and were school friends with Wood near Natland in Kendal, Cumbria. They were in a number of bands together while at school, but after finishing his exams Yan moved to study at the University of Reading, where he met guitarist Noble, who was originally from Bury, Greater Manchester.
In 1995, Yan and Noble were looking to start a band together; they recruited fellow student Alison Cotton via advertisements on the university's notice board, and the trio began performing together, initially under the name British Air Powers. Hamilton and Wood moved to Reading and joined the group shortly thereafter. Cotton was "headhunted" by Adam Cresswell and Mike Smoughton of local band Saloon in the late 90s, and left British Air Powers before they began their recording career.
The group played gigs and produced a four-track demo in Reading as British Air Powers, before relocating to Brighton in search of a more active music scene. "British Sea Power" was actually the name of one of these demo tracks, and was eventually reworked as "Carrion". In Brighton, BSP amassed a strong local following, due mainly to their own club night called "Club Sea Power" which was hosted at the Freebutt and Lift clubs. The club nights featured many support acts, including the Copper Family, a 200-year-old Sussex folk troupe and other forms of entertainment such as a 1940s fashion show.
Their first single, "Fear of Drowning", was issued in limited numbers on their own Golden Chariot label. The artwork for the B side, "A Wooden Horse", borrows heavily from the dust cover of the 1950 book The Wooden Horse that details the escape of Allied POWs during World War II. Geoff Travis of Rough Trade Records, impressed by seeing the band live, signed them to his label in September 2001. Originally a four-piece, Eamon Hamilton was recruited to play keyboards and bass drum in autumn 2002.
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