British band gets woke, changes their name

If you’re familiar with the British indie scene, you may have run across British Sea Power, a group that’s been around for 21 years and with six albums to their name. They’ve obviously had a pretty decent career. However, they’ve run into some kind of an identity crisis.

Apparently, some people had begun to take issue with their name, saying that it harkened back to a time of ruthless British imperialism and colonialism. That prompted this statement on their website:

“After much reflection and soul-searching, the band formerly known as British Sea Power have modified their name to simply Sea Power. We’ve been British Sea Power for 20 years…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….[t]he 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. 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 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…”

Thoughts?

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 30+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

10 thoughts on “British band gets woke, changes their name

  • August 10, 2021 at 12:02 pm
    Permalink

    Kind of like saying “Removing the word ‘french’ from ‘french fries’ does not indicate an aversion to anything French.” Always fascinating to see the logical pretzels people twist themselves into.

    Reply
    • August 11, 2021 at 9:35 pm
      Permalink

      @CJF this but unironically. Who could possibly object to “fries?” Good example of the triviality.

      Reply
  • August 10, 2021 at 5:27 pm
    Permalink

    Hi Alan, thanks for posting this. Usually not a fan of woke, but in this case I’d give them a pass for two reasons. First and foremost, they aren’t forcing anyone to say, do or believe anything. It’s their band, they can do what they want. Second, I get that they don’t want UKIP types, or even Niall Ferguson, to be fans of theirs.

    Reply
    • August 11, 2021 at 9:31 pm
      Permalink

      Agree totally. Brilliant band with unique variety of songs. Thanks for mentioning them Alan. You’re a star in my eyes – introduced me to youth Group on Air Canada and played my New Order request. As a two million miler that meant a lot.

      Reply
  • August 11, 2021 at 7:22 am
    Permalink

    Sounds like the people that claim “Black lives matter” from their affluent suburb homes or people who were against the wall and “tear down the wall” but they live in a gated community with 12 foot high walls and security patrols or the best one “defund the police” like Kory Bush but she has armed security with her at all times. Well she don’t care if there’s no cops because she has her own bloody police force that just works for her lol, gotta love the wokesters that are hypocrites.

    Reply
    • August 11, 2021 at 7:10 pm
      Permalink

      Obviously they joined the New Cancel Culture, for acceptance in their effort to secure their place in earning cash. Great work, you sell outs.

      Reply
  • August 11, 2021 at 5:21 pm
    Permalink

    The world becomes worse in some ways, better in others. I see this name change, especially the thinking behind it, as a little bit of the world becoming a little bit better.

    Reply
  • August 11, 2021 at 8:34 pm
    Permalink

    So, a couple of people who probably weren’t even fans of this group, probably never bought a single album, justify their existence by complaining about something that is the equivalent to finding an offensive meaning within an ink blot image. IE They’re bringing their own interpretation to something totally benign and claiming it’s offensive. When in fact whatever object or saying they think is offensive doesn’t even exist except in their own self-absorbed brains. The band’s response matched the lightweight idiocy in their own attempt to explain how they really didn’t mean to say the sky was blue but if anyone took offense, they’re sorry.

    Reply
  • August 12, 2021 at 3:14 am
    Permalink

    What a bunch of wankers

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.