August 13, 2021
The name British Sea Power was meant with wry humour, but we’ve reflected on other ways it might be perceived
Sea Power: Why we dropped the word ‘British’ from our name
This week our band announced we were modifying our name from British Sea Power to just Sea Power. This announcement was soon trending on Twitter and triggered more news coverage than we imagined possible – from the Guardian and NME to the Express and Telegraph. TV interview requests came in from GB News, Russia Today, Channel 5 and Good Morning Britain, which we declined. There was broad support from our audience, alongside some disappointment and a fair bit of general flak on Social Media. The coverage surprised us, being a modestly successful rock group – albeit one with the occasional Top 10 album and a Mercury nomination, plus a BAFTA in 2020 for our soundtrack to the big-selling computer game Disco Elysium.
We haven’t undertaken this name-change lightly. It’s something we’ve been thinking about for years. We of course originally chose the name, circa the year 2000, because we liked it. Others did too. Elbow frontman Guy Garvey said, “Not only do British Sea Power own the best name in history, they’re fucking great.” But this name came with some fairly intricate thinking behind it. As we explained in a statement on our website: “There were at least two 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 allowed Britain to dominate the world. When we came up with the original band name, Britain no longer ruled the seas. The name was intended with a kind of wry humour.”
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