British Sea Power? not any longer: Issue of the Day

THE members of indie band British Sea Power haves decided to drop the first word of their name in a bid to distance itself from “isolationist, antagonistic nationalism”.

In future, the band, who released its debut album The Decline of British Sea Power in 2003, says it will now be known as Sea Power.

I have to admit, I’m not familiar with this band

Formed by two brothers from Cumbria, Scott and Neil Hamilton Wilkinson, the band has released seven albums, and four soundtracks for movies and videogames, winning a BAFTA in the process. A new album is due out next year.

What’s behind this name change then?

The band members, who see themselves as internationalists, fear that the name British Sea Power could be construed as nationalistic.

In a statement on the band’s website, they noted that: “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.”

Where’s their British pride?

It’s still there. “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,” they point out.

But, they add, “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.”

They’re not the only band who have changed their name recently, are they?

No, indeed not. In the United States both The Dixie Chicks and Lady Antebellum changed their names last year. The former became The Chicks, while the latter changed their name to Lady A.

In both cases the bands wanted to distance themselves from the antebellum era in the southern states in the United States when slavery was still allowed.

The Chicks announced their name change in the wake of the protests that followed the killing of George Floyd in police custody. “We want to meet this moment,” the band said in a press statement.

And is it just bands?

No. DJs have also been reconsidering their stage names. Britain’s Dave Lee, who went under the stage name Joey Negro for years, a moniker inspired by two of his favourite music acts, Pal Joey and J Walter Negro, reverted to his real name in July last year.

“I understand now though that it’s not appropriate for me to carry on using the name,” he announced on Facebook at the time.

“I’ve recently received emails, tweets etc saying that it is unacceptable, and people find it out of place in 2020 – and I agree.”

Meanwhile, music producer Marea Stamper, who was known as The Black Madonna renamed herself The Blessed Madonna after a petition was launched asking her to reconsider her stage name.

And the record label One Little Indian, home to Bjork and Sigur Ros, also changed its name last year to One Little Independent.

The Herald Scotland

The Herald Scotland

The Herald is a Scottish broadsheet newspaper founded in 1783. The Herald is the longest running national newspaper in the world and is the eighth oldest daily paper in the world. The title was simplified from The Glasgow Herald in 1992