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…”