“ALERT! ALERT! ACTUALLY DECENT BAND PLAYING IN YORK ALERT!”
Now, upon reading the above on my Facebook news feed, my naturally inquisitive mind wants instantly to investigate. And, the (slightly over-egged) announcement is quite right, these guys are a decent band!
British Sea Power are a six-piece band variously originating from Cumbria, Yorkshire, Ealing and Shropshire who are currently based in East Sussex and on the Isle of Skye. Their multi-instrumental style (guitars, bass, keys, drums, a viola and a cornet) gives them a wonderfully rich and unique sound that seems to have thrilled their fans and reviewers alike. The Sunday Times have called them “the best band in Britain” while a Rolling Stone review dismissed the entire line up of the Reading Festival as “puerile drivel” and adding “we’re off to see British Sea Power”.
Far from starting out, British Sea Power are ten years more mature than their debut album (released 2003), but their new album Machineries of Joy sees them really hitting their stride. Their hard work and perseverance really shows: a recent poll of BBC 6 Music listeners on the most important tracks of the stations lifetime but British Sea Power’s track, ‘Remember Me’ at number 9. Putting this into context, that’s just above Radiohead and just behind Johnny Cash.
If you want to check out this band properly, visit their website – http://www.britishseapower.co.uk/ – where you can find links to all of their social media, videos of their performances as well as tour dates, so you can appreciate them live.
Design and craft has vigorously changed and adapted to the attitudes of the now and for this reason it has seen a current resurgence. Xenia Moseley is a designer/maker trained at Brighton University, who uses British skills and material as a cornerstone of her artistry. Her current project is entitled “Journey Women”, citing its inspiration from the word “Journeyman”. Which literally means an apprentice who moves from one town to another, gaining an experience of different workshops. Considered an original way to learn a trade whilst developing character, experiencing community, life and travelling. Xenia has done just that, travelling down the River Ouse, East Sussex, in search of the traditions that are still being practised today.
It’s all very good embarking on a journey like this a few hundred years, but to start it now, explore and export it through the ways of today, is something else. It is not only poetic to yearn for the handmade but it was once essential.
Xenia’s trip was fruitful, she visited and studied the skills of a wool spinner, cobbler, boat builder, basket weaver and upholster. Thus Xenia was able to create a boat that celebrated the crafts she had learnt and symbolises an on-going journey. Its a manifestation of the materials and craft methods encountered, transformed into a useful object that’s also a metaphor of collaboration and learning that is alternate to our entrenched, modern systems.
Xenia’s trip raises questions about our attachment to the objects that populate our habitats. The manner of buying attractive objects in comparison to making them with our bare hands or knowing who did, makes life today a fountain of choices. Xenia’s work projects a yearning for a milder way of life and a merit on making it yourself.
You can check out Xenia’a Links