The rock band British Sea Power has renamed itself Sea Power as they feel the name has become “constricting” due to the rise of “antagonistic nationalism” around the world in recent years.
The group, who have been active for the last 20 years, say the name was “intended with a kind of wry humour” since Britain, once a naval superpower, no longer ruled the seas.
They announced the change as they unveiled the title of their first studio album in five years, Everything Was Forever, which is due to be released in February 2022.
Sea Power wrote in a post 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 – an amazing 20 years, when we’ve been able to continually traverse the British Isles, to travel the world, encountering many friendly faces, not least in the band’s remarkable audience.
“But the name British Sea Power had come to feel constricting, like an ancient legacy we were carrying with us.”
They explained in the post that the name’s origin was derived from the literal power of the oceans and also an echo to the historical past of “Britannia ruling the waves”, but used in a tongue-in-cheek manner as this was no longer the case.
“The idea of British sea power in the historical sense was an obsolete thing.
“It was now just the name of a rock band…,” they added.
Sea Power explaining their decision said: “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’ve always been internationalist in our mindset, something made clear in songs like Waving Flags, an anthem to pan-European idealism.
“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.”
The band clarified later in the post that they do not have any aversion to the British Isles and feel “immensely fortunate” to have grown up there and referenced how several of their songs are “filled with love and awe” for the islands.
The rock band consists of brothers Scott Wilkinson and Neil Hamilton Wilkinson, guitarist Martin Noble and drummer Matthew Wood, with Phil Sumner on the keyboard and cornet and Abi Fry on the viola.
They have played Glastonbury Festival in 2008 and 2017 and Reading and Leeds numerous times, including headlining the Festival Republic Stage in 2010.