UK indie band British Sea Power have announced they are changing their name to simply Sea Power, in a bid to separate themselves from the recent “wave of crass nationalism”.
The band used their old moniker for almost two decades, putting out albums, EPs and soundtracks in that time.
The name-change, they noted online on Monday, had come “after much reflection and soul-searching”.
They revealed it while promoting their first new music in four years.
“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,” they said in a statement.
‘An ancient legacy’
“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.”
They continued: “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 band added they did not wish to be associated with “isolationist, antagonistic nationalism”, noting how “we have always been internationalist in our mindset, something made clear in songs like Waving Flags, an anthem to pan-European idealism”.
They conceded that their old name perhaps “wasn’t the cleverest way to demonstrate” their stance, and concluded by stressing how the removal of 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 or our songs are filled with love and awe for this place.”
The question of British nationalism and music has been widely discussed around The Proms, which has returned this summer with the promise of Rule, Britannia! and Land of Hope and Glory being sung in full.
Last year, the BBC landed in hot water over plans to play instrumental versions of the songs during the 2020 Last Night celebrations.
The story caused a furore in the press, after reports suggested the lyrics were being dropped due to their associations with colonialism and slavery.
The BBC insisted its original decision had been driven less by politics than by the limitations imposed on musicians, and choirs in particular, during the pandemic.
Minister Boris Johnson was among those who opposed the decision. The lyrics were eventually reinstated for last year’s event, sung by a small socially-distanced choir.
Elsewhere in 2020, a raft of other musicians including Dixie Chicks, The Black Madonnna and DJ Joey Negro all decided their names were no longer acceptable in light of the Black Lives Matter protests in the wake of the murder of George Floyd. [SOURCE]
Sea Power’s new single to go with their new name, Two Fingers, is the first offering from their upcoming album Everything Was Forever, which will be released in February 2022.