by / May 3rd, 2013 /

Interview: Incoming… British Sea Power

Who are you and where are you from?

Martin Noble from British Sea Power. Born in Bury, Lancashire, grew a bit bigger in Leeds, Yorkshire.

Who are your favorite artists from home?

Arthur Brown went to my school in Leeds, and also attended the same Uni as me. He had a song about Fire. We have four songs with Water in the title. Elbow are the only band i know from Bury. My family are from Castleford, the home on sculptor Henry Moore. There’s one of his sculptures outside the college there, and it’s a testament to Castlefords honesty, that even after the demise of Castlefords mining industry, no-one has nicked his sculpture for scrap. Our new album was mixing in Castleford too.

What’s it really like touring?

It’s like being an alcoholic for a few weeks. You get to see the evolution of the motorway service stations. Some have Waitrose or Greggs pasties in them now.

What’s your favourite city/town/venue to play?

The Tan Hill Inn in the Yorkshire Dales. It’s where we hold our festival. Or rather, where we held it. Also, I remember a show in Taipei that was particularly joyous.

What’s your ideal festival line-up?

Early Incarnation of the Stooges. Lord Kitchener. The Velvet Underground. Can. Teenage Fanclub. Charlie Kunz. Shostakovich. David Bowie & Brian Eno. Sunn O))). The Pixies. Queen.

Tell us a tour story…

This is a personal and idiotic story. In 2003, we played Stockholm and we got hammered. I spent the night walking through the old quarter of the city amazed at the old buildings there. Me and our sound engineer Joe found a ladder that lay on the partly frozen estuary. We stupidly crawled across the ladder, testing the ice. Then i tried to break into a boat to get more booze and couldn’t get in. I then tried to monkey across the mooring rope to the harbour and fell in the freezing sea with all my heavy winter clothes on. Joe had snuck off to bed, so i was left to try and get out of the freezing sea on my own. I climbed up the harbour wall via a rope, took all my clothes off, and boarded the tour bus. Pretty stupid really, shouldn’t brag about things like that, but I am happy to only have lost one of my cat lives, and glad I din’t actually break into the boat.

What has been your biggest achievement of the year?

Teaching my puppy lots of funny tricks.

What was the worst piece of advice you were given?

That outfit makes you like like the guy from Kick-Ass. You should definitely wear it on stage. Stick some fruit down there as well.

What do you do to relax?

Walk, run, drink, crown green bowls, music, read, wildlife, grow things in the garden.

What are you reading?

The Rough Guide to Britain and A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry

How about TV, anything good on the box?

Have just been watching the Sopranos box set. I’m a bit late on the uptake, but what’s the rush!

Do you have a favourite YouTube video?

At the moment it’s that Welsh fella, Andrew Cassidy doing Keepie Uppies.

What website do you visit most? (discounting email, etc.)

Outside of social media, it’s BBC News and ’52 tricks to teach your dog’.

What is your favourite:


My grandad’s Nat King Cole one.


Can’t do this…sorry!

Lost classic song?

‘I Get Ideas’ Dottie Miles.

Record label?

Rough Trade, innit.

Who is your favourite current artist?

John Grant, Cat Power, Unknown Mortal Orchestra

A new artist that you are most excited about?


What was the last great gig you have seen?

Bo Ningen at our club night, and ‘Queer’ a Japanese Queen covers band who also played our club night.

Worst show?

Any new folkie stuff that is full of cliches.

What should we expect from your Irish shows?

Something for the higher and lower self. Some fun, some melancholy, some grace, some frenetic mayhem, and a giant Polar Bear. And probably a very beautifully decorated stage.

British Sea Power play the Academy on Tuesday, 7th May.