British Sea Power change name to avoid ‘antagonistic nationalism’ concerns
Famed indie band British Sea Power have dropped the ‘British’ from their name and will now be known as Sea Power.
The group has cited concerns over being associated with a certain ‘isolationist, antagonistic nationalism’, that they say they ‘don’t want to run any risk of being confused with.’
Under a message on their website titled ‘goodbye british sea power. hello sea power…’ the band explained the reasons for their actions.
“After much reflection and soul-searching, the band formerly known as British Sea Power have modified their name to simply Sea Power,” they said.
“We’ve been British Sea Power for 20 years – an amazing 20 years, when we’ve been able to continually traverse the British Isles, to travel the world, encountering many friendly faces, not least in the band’s remarkable audience. But the name British Sea Power had come to feel constricting, like an ancient legacy we were carrying with us.
“When we came up with the name British Sea Power there were at least two different lines of thought behind it. There was, literally, sea power – the elementary power of the oceans. Alongside this was the historical idea of ‘British sea power’ – Britannia ruling the waves; the naval power that once allowed Britain to dominate the world.
“When we came up with the original band name, Britain no longer ruled the seas. The band name was intended with a kind of wry humour. The idea of British sea power in the historical sense was an obsolete thing. It was now just the name of a rock band.
“Now, 20 years later, we’re recasting the name. In recent times there’s been a rise in a certain kind of nationalism in this world – an isolationist, antagonistic nationalism that we don’t want to run any risk of being confused with.”
They added: “It’s become apparent that it’s possible to misapprehend the name British Sea Power, particularly if someone isn’t familiar with the band or their recordings.
“We’ve always been internationalist in our mindset, something made clear in songs like Waving Flags, an anthem to pan-European idealism.
“We always wanted to be an internationalist band but maybe having a specific nation-state in our name wasn’t the cleverest way to demonstrate that. We very much hope the band’s audience won’t be affronted by this adjustment to the name. We’d like to make it clear that removing the word “British” does NOT indicate any aversion to the British Isles whatsoever.
“We all feel immensely fortunate to have grown up in these islands. Several of our songs are filled with love and awe for this place.
“We do love these lands. We all still live within the British Isles, but we are now just Sea Power. We feel the name change comes in part from the band’s audience – who at a good show will shout out, ‘Sea Power! Sea Power!’ Maybe this name change has been there for years, shouted in our ears. It’s just taken us this long to realise – to hear what was there in front of us.”
Find out more about Sea Power HERE