Sebastopol

Sebastopol

BandAlternativePop

“Were Sting, Stewart Copeland and Andy Summers to reform as a 2012 version of The Police, having removed the vestiges of advancing years and adopting a more modern social conscience in mind, they would sound like Sebastopol.”

“…will end up being cited by singers and songwriters for years to come.”

Biography

SEBASTOPOL formed in London in mid-2011 and recorded their debut album, "HELLO ALL STATIONS, THIS IS ZERO" the following winter at Drop Out Studios in Camberwell. A traditional guitar-bass-drums three-piece, their sparse and atmospheric sound has been described as like a modern, darker reboot of The Police, incorporating elements of dub, post-punk, gothic dream pop, and even 1970s French rock.

The band consists of Nick Powell on vocals and bass, Phil Richards on guitar and Tom Standage on drums. The album's title is a wartime radio call-sign from the 1940s, signalling the beginning of radio silence. For the band it has the double meaning of recalibration of music to a simpler and starker musical approach. The album contrasts upbeat melodies with lyrical themes dominated by imagery of failure, loss, water and rebirth. Also, vampires and zeppelins.

It all started with the sharks. Sent to a remote island off Nova Scotia in 2010 to make a film about shark attacks on seals, documentary-maker Nick Powell found himself stranded for a week when bad weather prevented aircraft from landing to pick him up. He returned to his first love of music and began writing songs inspired by his predicament. On his return to civilisation he called two of his old friends and told them it was time to make an album. They formed SEBASTOPOL to bring Nick's songs to life. "Perhaps this explains why the lyrics have such strong themes of water, death and loss," says Nick.

The band's name “SEBASTOPOL” comes from the non-standard guitar tuning used throughout the album.

HELLO ALL STATIONS, THIS IS ZERO was produced by the band themselves. “Sound-wise, it’s a very dynamic album” says Phil. “Instead of producing everything to be as loud as possible, the songs retain a sense of musical ‘space’ which contributes to their intensity and makes them more engaging.”

The album was mixed by legendary post punk producer Mick Glossop (Van Morrison, Magazine, Public Image, The Wonder Stuff) and mastered at Skye Mastering by Denis Blackham.

The album's artwork features an image of pioneering computer scientist Alan Turing, whose 100th birthday would have been in 2012, and who led the wartime code-cracking effort. "Turing has been in the air this year anyway, but there are such strong parallels between now and the 1940s, when he was doing his work," says Tom. "The 1940s was a time of economic austerity, yet at the same time a computer revolution was underway, and with the advent of the atom bomb optimism about technology had given way to fear of its consequences."

In June 2012 Sebastopol signed to Warm Fuzz, the independent label run by award winning producer Ian Shaw (Nick Heyward, Primal Scream, Huggy Bear).

Lyrics

Send The Boats

Written By: Powell, Richards, Standage

The Captain says "We've got 10 minutes
Before she's under and we're fish food!"
'Cause it's 2:20, I swear I didn't see it
It was on my watch and I'm going down...

Send the boats
Send the helicopters
Just find me before I'm gone
Send the boats
Send the planes
Just find me, I'm going down again

I'm flying over mountains
I'm crossing deep, deep ravines
But I'm not falling, I'm floating
Into your life and out again

Send the boats
Send the helicopters
Just find me before I'm gone
Send the boats
Send the planes
Just find me, I'm going down again

The only light in my life now is phosphorescence
I'm a birdman, no I'm Neptune
I wear a morning suit of kelp
I am Davy, call me Davy...

Something's Gotta Give

Written By: Powell, Richards, Standage

Here we go making our home
Looks alright but something’s wrong
The walls are bowing inward
Steam floats through the air
Here we go speaking our mind
Voices sweet, faces kind
But I can smell sulphur
Every time you whisper in my ear

Somethings gotta give
Somethings gotta give
Who’s gonna jump first?
Somethings gotta give
Somethings gotta give
Somethings gotta give
Somethings gotta give

Look at us wasting our time
Waiting for our ships to come in
There’s blood in the water
And the sharks are circling
I could tell you that our love will beat all
Tell you we’re still standing tall
But my heart is exploding
With the pain of trying not to fall

Somethings gotta give
Somethings gotta give
Who’s gonna snap first?
Somethings gotta give
Somethings gotta give
Somethings gotta give
Somethings gotta give

All the things you are
Are things you did
An animal that kills to be kind
And the shadows
Are on the prowl again
The sad things howl outside our home again...

All Eyes

Written By: Powell, Richards, Standage

The Zeppelins have crashed
The fields of corn are burnt
The tears have dried but we can’t feel our hands
The love I feel for you
Is bitter like the wind
That whips the land and scatters everything

All eyes
All eyes
All eyes
Turn to you

Motels and bars
Fill with empty cars
Our cigarettes they glow like targets
I miss your hands
And your skirt of teeth
When they bring me home
Bury me deep

All eyes
All eyes
All eyes
Turn to you

And the band stopped
And the band stopped playing
The band stopped playing our song

I've got a big surprise
I've got a big surprise
I've got a big surprise
Now close your eyes

All eyes
All eyes
All eyes
Turn to you

They turn to you...

Winter Song

Written By: Powell, Richards, Standage

Every rainbow pot of gold
Don't stop you getting old
Lift the lid on my life:
Payment overdue
This garden's made for playing in
But snakes inside the darkened shed
Mother's voice in heavy mode:
"Keep it clean or lose your head"

Winter song
Keep spinning on and on
Last night I held your hand
As the shakes began, oh
Winter song
Keep spinning on and on
Footprints in the sand
Ripples on the pond
You don't get long…

I can't believe you laughed at it
It came to get you late last night
You stink of it, you smell of it
Look it left a nasty bite
It grows inside you doesn't it?
Tell me what it feels like?
Can you put your finger on the feeling?

Winter song
Keep spinning on and on
Last night I held your hand
As the tears began, oh
Winter song
Keep singing while you can
Footprints in the sand
Ripples on the pond
You don't get long…

Suffer Fools

Written By: Powell, Richards, Standage

You've broken down again
Hit me with your fist
Drunk and emotional
With a bitter twist
Lurking in your head
Is a fantasist
Speaking in tongues
Spiking your tongue
Till it is poisonous

I suffer fools..
I suffer fools...
I suffer fools like you

Here comes the moon again
Swollen like the fear
Creeping at night
Swallowing light
Until I disappear
You've broken down again
Stabbed me with your pen
It's coming down
Crashing around
Our little home

You suffer fools…
You suffer fools…
You suffer fools like me

Our hearts-a-beating but
Wow and flutter and phase
Will spell the end of these glory days
The dust will gather on our infant cheeks
Till the universe grinds its gears
And carries on without us

You've broken down again
Stabbed me with your pen
It’s coming down
Crashing around
Our ears

I suffer fools
You suffer fools
We are the fools right here

The Bats

Written By: Powell, Richards, Standage

Taking to the air
I’m weighted down by gold
I fall, fall, fall

Alarm bells fill my ears
As the love I took from you
Grows cold, cold, cold

Hello, you look so small
I'm okay in the dark
But tell me that was you and not
The bats, the bats, the bats

The silver map of you
Will keep me safe from harm
From the bats, the bats, the bats

Water fills my chest
And my bones they turn to lead
I sink, sink, sink

A subterranean nest
Of semi-detachedness
I'm home, home, home

Hello, you look so small
I'm okay in the dark
But tell me that was you and not
The bats, the bats, the bats

The silver map of you
Will keep me safe from harm
From the bats, the bats, the bats

The Hateful Mob

Written By: Powell, Richards, Standage

D16-Gate for “Port of Spain”
We’ve met before
When the seas teemed
With Plesiosaur
We kissed as the asteroid
Snuffed out our idiot lives
You didn’t have brown eyes then…
But neither did I

I love you now
As I loved you then
Your ever faithful Promethean
I’m always yours
I'll roll that boulder up the hill
Then let it crush me
Going round
I'll always be your in-between
Not up nor down

Do you remember me?
I gave my life to save you from the mob
Bent on your destruction
The hateful mob

Our DNA bound and entwined
On a beach that was once here in time
But that beach is now a diner on the I-95

I gave my life to save you from the mob
Bent on our destruction
The hateful mob
Do you remember me?
I gave my life to save you from the mob
Bent on your destruction
The hateful mob

I gave my life to save you from the mob...

Strangest Things

Written By: Powell, Richards, Standage

Road without an end
Filling up with cars
Night without a friend
Jammed full of dreams
Our hearts they beat as one
Too afraid to flam
What is coming next is so unexpected

Sometimes you say the strangest things, my love
Sometimes you say the strangest things, my love
Sometimes you say the strangest things, my love
Sometimes it all comes out all wrong

Iron in the mouth
Silk across the throat
Every little death you had was the end
But now we sleep as one
Waiting for the light
Drying in the stillness
Of the long dark night

Sometimes you say the strangest things, my love
Sometimes you say the strangest things, my love
Sometimes you say the strangest things, my love
Sometimes it all comes out all wrong

Sometimes I think you want to hear me say:
"I’m going, good luck, be safe my girl..."

Lucky Side Down

Written By: Powell, Richards, Standage

One step closer
So close now
To being worm food
The path I travel
Is so narrow
There's only room for one
I'm lost here
So lonely
I can't stop reaching for your
Cold shoulder
It's like stone now
Please help this poor boy

Air escaping
By scraping
The chips are falling lucky side down
Lucky side down
For no-one
No substance
I'm simply falling lucky side down
Lucky side down

I remember the feeling
When I stayed round yours
Heart in my mouth
No room for your tongue and mine
I'm lost here
So lonely
I can't stop reaching for your
Cold shoulder
It's like stone now
Please help this poor boy

Let's go back to
That Eden
Stop the dice falling lucky side down
Lucky side down
I'm calling
I'm begging
Save me before I let the lovely side
Lovely side down

In my dreams we're together
Like before, feels like forever
In my head this is the future
Like before it stinks of failure

Take Me Home

Written By: Powell, Richards, Standage

I can feel the wind turn cold
The sky’s gone dark
The moon is tumbling down
Towards the sea
The horizon rises and falls
On a wave of fire
Stars and gases and dust
Wash over me

Could somebody take me home
I think I’ve lost my way
Been walking in the dark too long
Could somebody take me home
I miss my Ma and Pa
I think I’ve lost my way
Somebody take me
Somebody take me home

I’ve got an uneasy feeling
That the sun’s gone out
It makes me feel so sad
Makes me scream and shout
The last time you looked
Was it still up in the sky?
Or was it flickering off and on and off and on?

Somebody take me home
I think I’ve lost my way
I’ve been walking in the dark too long
Could somebody take me home
I miss my Ma and Pa
I think I’ve lost my way
Somebody take me
Somebody take me home...

Discography

"THE HATEFUL MOB"
Format: Single
Release Date: 25 February 2013
Label: Warm Fuzz
UPC: 5055486920583
CAT: BONE0005

"SEND THE BOATS"
Format: Single
Release Date: 5 November 2012
Label: Warm Fuzz
UPC: 5055486915763
CAT: BONE0003

"HELLO ALL STATIONS, THIS IS ZERO"
Format: Album
Release Date: 3 Sep 2012
Label: Warm Fuzz
UPC: 5055486912243
CAT: FUZZ0114

All songs from the album have been played on the radio. Three songs have been played on the BBC.

Set List

The Hateful Mob
Grab The Ring
Something's Gotta Give
Winter Song
Press Zero For A Human Being
Lucky Side Down
Push The Panic Button
All Eyes
Strangest Things
Old Love
Send The Boats
Vendetta

(50 mins)
(all songs by Sebastopol)