THE Bury-born guitarist of indie rock band British Sea Power says he is looking forward to being heckled by old school pals at this year’s Ramsbottom Festival.
The group, likened on many occasions to Joy Division and The Cure, will headline the Saturday night of the three-day festival at Ramsbottom Cricket Club, from September 19 to 21.
Offbeat theatrics and visual flair, not to mention the appearance of a 10 foot bear, make their live shows unforgettable, earning them an array of endorsements, from David Bowie to The National Maritime Museum, Brian Cox to Bill Bailey and Radiohead to Peter Capadli.
Martin Noble, who will be making his Rammy debut with his bandmates, said: “I know it’s near Bury and people have told me we should try and play there, so it was great to be asked. I’m looking forward to being heckled by my old school friends.
“Our last gig featured complete lighting failure, a point where Yan didn’t know where he was in the song, a sex toy landing on stage and a ruckus with security staff. Hopefully it won’t be like that.”
It has been more than 10 years since the group’s debut album, The Decline of British Sea Power, and their sixth album, Machineries of Joy, was released in 2013, followed by the soundtrack for documentary feature film From the Sea To The Land Beyond.
Martin said: “We’ve learned things along the way, developed new interests and ideas. Rather than being a scrapping 10-year-old, it’s more refined but we can summon a one inch punch if necessary.”
A recent BBC Radio 6 Music poll voted British Sea Power's Remember Me as the ninth most important track of the station's lifetime — sitting just above Radiohead and just below Johnny Cash — and they have a hardcore of dedicated fans, some who have been to their gigs a couple of hundred times.
Martin, who lived in Bury until the age of 13, said: “You feel like you’re part of something valuable in someone’s life, which kind of feels like a responsibility. I don’t know how they can afford the time or money.
“Maybe we just attract obsessive OCD characters though! I don’t think I could see any band that many times. I know I want to see Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds again though. I’m going back for more of that.
“My favourite music growing up was the Velvet Underground and Miles Davis, and my first gigs were Verve and Suede, and then I got into the likes of The Fall and The Pixies early on. I find I can like most things now to some degree.”
Looking to the future and plans in the pipeline and Martin said: “We have a tour of a new project called Sea of Brass, in the autumn.
“It’s us and a 28-piece brass orchestra, with new brass arrangements added to our songs.
“The arranger wants to give brass a shot in the arm, to show off brass in a more complex and forward-thinking light, rather than traditional bandstand style. We trialled the show last month and it was amazing.”
Ramsbottom Festival is at Ramsbottom Cricket Club from Friday, September 19 to Sunday 21. Visit ramsbottomfestival.com.