It’s not the first place you might imagine a record-launch, but on Thursday evening, the Czech Embassy in London played host to the band British Sea Power - and provided a venue for the launch of their new single, Waving Flags. Before the concert on Thursday, I called the band’s lead singer, Scott Wilkinson, to ask about his choice of venue:
“The original idea was to play three Eastern European Embassies in one day. And have three different kinds of rock-music party. The Czech one was the only one that was up for it, unfortunately.”
So what sort of concert is it going to be at the Czech embassy?
“It’s going to be a gig more or less, we were going to do an acoustic show in the afternoon, and then a kind of rock-gig, and then have a DJ dance party. But we had to scale that down to one thing, so it’s a gig, in an embassy.”
“Well, we mixed the whole album about 50 miles outside of Prague, on the edge of a big forest - and we had a very enjoyable time there. And we have worked with [the Czech band] The Ecstasy of Saint Teresa in the past. Their singer Katerina sang a version of one of our songs, and we played a gig in Prague with them, and then they played a gig with us in London. It was sort of an exchange of bands, instead of students.”
And I hear that you even found some inspiration here in the Czech Republic while you were here to record and mix albums in the past. What was it here that you found inspiring?
“That was really my brother and Martin – two members of the band. They traveled around the national parks there for a few months one summer. And they came back with all these stories about how beautiful it was, and how many strange and interesting people they met there. This is slightly rude, but they were very impressed by a farting tramp who could do any tune you asked him to – that’s the kind of thing that impresses them.”
Back to your new single - which is what is being launched at the embassy - can you tell me a bit about it, and what’s behind it?
“Well because we kind of like these different Eastern European countries – we find them interesting and think there is lots to learn from them – we are a bit disappointed about the reaction that a lot of people coming from there to live in Britain get sometimes. It’s a very negative reaction. So we thought we would write a welcoming song – semi-serious, partly sentimental, and also kind of fun. Just a nice welcoming song to balance out the opinion and make people feel at home here.”
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