From the Sea To The Land Beyond - British Sea Power Live Soundtrack Sheffield Crucible Theatre
Article written by
Matt H - Jun 13, 2012
From The Sea To The Land Beyond - British Coast Power
British Sea Power have excellent form in the live soundtrack stakes with Man of Aran, a film that somewhat ironically features the sea itself more heavily than this collection of archive clips. If that film seemed like it was chosen to reflect BSP’s music more than to have inspired the music, then that’s specifically the case with From The Sea To The Land Beyond. The filmmakers edited the footage around a number of BSP songs, with the band subsequently reworking those tunes into a tailored soundtrack.
The film itself - a selection of BFI archive material stitched together without narration into a rather familiar social history of 20th century Britain - suggests a little too much that its origins lay in a good idea rather than the burning desire to tell a story. But it’s more than saved by the sheer quality of the footage, a good eye for humour and a face, and a conspicuous and welcome gender balance in the selections. That and, for the BSP fan at least, the close fit with the themes and rhythms of their music (although it was a little odd in that context that the short natural history bit was the least successful musically as well as feeling a bit levered in thematically). It illustrated, as Man of Aran did before it, that the things those of us who had them pegged well above the indie rock masses heard in them was really there all along.
The whole thing was streamed live on the web, but what might you have missed if you weren’t actually there? Well BSP are really very skilful at the ebb and flow of live accompaniment, fitting the room perfectly. The sheer physical mounting power of the Something Wicked crescendos that accompanied the World War II scenes and delicate textural vocals working especially well at either end of the scale.
If you can’t make it to the BFI performance shortly, then this live performance is promised to survive for a while that “The Space” link below. Then a ‘properly’ recorded soundtrack will be edited to the film and the final version available to stream for a few months. Whichever way you choose, it’s worth setting aside 80 minutes to dwell on an illustration of ordinary Britishness infinitely more rewarding than a Jubilee concert.