Chron­i­cles of an age

Free Pub­lic Ser­vice Broad­cast­ing con­cert in Va­len­cia

Costa Levante News - - WHAT'S ON -

By Barry Wright PUB­LIC Ser­vice Broad­cast­ing (PSB) is the cor­duroy­clad brain­child of Lon­don­based J. Will­go­ose, Esq. who, along with drum­ming com­pan­ion Wrig­glesworth and multi­in­stru­men­tal­ist J.F. Abra­ham, is on a quest to in­form, ed­u­cate and en­ter­tain au­di­ences around the globe. PSB’s uniquely spell­bind­ing live au­dio­vis­ual trans­mis­sions see them weave sam­ples from old pub­lic in­for­ma­tion films, archive footage and pro­pa­ganda ma­te­rial around live drums, gui­tar, banjo and elec­tron­ics as they teach the lessons of the past through the mu­sic of the fu­ture ­ beam­ing our past back at us through vin­tage tele­vi­sion sets and state of the art mod­ern video pro­jec­tion de­vices.

The Lon­don­based group started out with just Will­go­ose, who as a solo per­former made his pub­lic de­but at The Selkirk pub in Toot­ing, Lon­don, in Au­gust 2009.

Shortly af­ter that the EP, One was re­leased.

Af­ter team­ing up with Wrig­glesworth, who took the drum stool the duo played its first fes­ti­val per­for­mance at the one­off Aes­ti­val char­ity event in Suf­folk in Septem­ber 2010.

Soon af­ter this, work be­gan on the sec­ond EP, The War Room, which was even­tu­ally re­leased in 2012. It was ded­i­cated to Will­go­ose’s great­un­cle Ge­orge, who died at the Battle of Dunkirk in 1940, aged 26.

For the EP they were given ex­clu­sive ac­cess to the Bri­tish Film In­sti­tute’s ar­chives. So when the lis­tener hears a broad­caster stat­ing: “Now it's eight o'clock. Jerry's a lit­tle bit late tonight. The dusk is deep­en­ing. Soon the nightly battle of Lon­don will be on. This has been a quiet day for us, but it won’t be a quiet night,” be­fore adding: “These are not Hol­ly­wood sound ef­fects, this is the mu­sic they play ev­ery night in Lon­don: the sym­phony of war,” it must be re­mem­bered that these po­etic ob­ser­va­tions are from the pe­riod.

So these sound­bites set to a back­drop of syn­th­pop, krautrock and dance beats are mo­ments of liv­ing his­tory that, in the con­text of The War Room, not only bring the era alive to the mod­ern lis­tener, but also re­mind of the fu­til­ity of con­flict.

PSB fol­lowed this up in 2013 with the full length al­bum In­form ­ Ed­u­cate – En­ter­tain, which cov­ers themes such as the first as­cent of Ever­est, Thomas Woodrooffe’s drunken live 1937 ra­dio com­men­tary of the Sp­it­head Re­view, where he con­stantly re­ferred to the fleet as be­ing ‘lit up like fairy lights’, and the night mail train ser­vice

Once again these poignant mo­ments in the his­tory of the UK are de­liv­ered in an in­fec­tiously dance­able way.

Next up came the duo’s most pop­u­lar re­lease, The Race for Space (2015), which tells the story for of the Amer­i­can and Soviet space race from 19571972.

The al­bum was launched with two con­certs at the Na­tional Space Cen­tre in Le­ices­ter on Fe­bru­ary 26­27 of that year.

The Race for Space can be con­sid­ered PSB’s break­through re­lease and peaked at num­ber 11 in the UK al­bum charts.

Off the back of the al­bum PSB toured the UK ex­ten­sively, and cli­maxed with their biggest head­line show to date, a sold out night at the O2 Academy in Brix­ton.

This con­cert can be heard on 2016’s Live at Brix­ton.

The band’s lat­est full length re­lease, Ev­ery Val­ley, (2017) takes lis­ten­ers on a ‘jour­ney down the mi­ne­shafts of the South Wales val­leys, with the sto­ries found there a black mir­ror to the plight of work­ers ev­ery­where’.

Mak­ing a com­par­i­son be­tween the min­ing hey­day and now, PSB state: “Although Ev­ery Val­ley is the story of one in­dus­try in a re­gion and time far from ours, the tales of a dis­en­fran­chised work­ing class in this age of tur­moil could not be more rel­e­vant.”

J. Will­go­ose, Esq hopes the story is ‘ap­pli­ca­ble to in­dus­ . tries all over the west­ern world and pos­si­bly be­yond, in the way that the In­dus­trial Revo­lu­tion gen­er­ated these com­mu­ni­ties that were so de­pen­dent on one par­tic­u­lar in­dus­try, and what hap­pens to that com­mu­nity when you re­move that in­dus­try from it, and where that leaves us now’.

In Oc­to­ber of this year PSB re­leased the four track EP, White Star Liner, which uses archive ma­te­rial to give a chrono­log­i­cal story of the Ti­tanic.

Once again the re­lease is busi­ness as usual, with the band us­ing in­valu­able pe­riod di­a­logue to bring the story to life.

At this stage in their ca­reer PSB are do­ing noth­ing new, the themes and the back­ing mu­sic por­tray an eerie over­all im­age and feel­ing of the dis­as­ter.

Whether the al­bums merit re­peat plays on a reg­u­lar ba­sis is a thing for the in­di­vid­ual, but live PSB are right on the money.

All of their re­leases are avail­able to stream on Spo­tify, and they have a large YouTube pres­ence.

If you like what you see and hear then get along to the Ma­rina Beach Club in Va­len­cia on De­cem­ber 1, where they are giv­ing a free con­cert.

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