New Band of the Day: Public Service Broadcasting

BFI collaborators Public Service Broadcasting take old public service broadcasts (audio and visual) and structure songs around them. But is what they produce any good? Well, I’ll pass over to our man Paul Scott-Bates to answer that one.

I don’t know a lot about the duo Public Service Broadcasting and, to be honest, as long as they keep making tracks like they currently are doing, I don’t really care.

What they do isn’t particular original, but, what they produce is something rather wonderful. Sampling old public information films and archive, they blend them with their own style of music (comprising of synthesizers, drums, pianos, banjos and probably anything else they can lay their hands on) to make music that is very accessible and very entertaining.


In June of this year, they released the superb ep, The War Room, hot on the heels of single ROYGBIV, and became favourites of Radio 6 and Janice Long alike. It’s easy to see why. The embarrassment of silly and pointless lyrics is avoided, as is the need for banal choruses. Spitfire is testament to the ability to create tracks that are both appealing and timeless (quite literally). Great guitar riff, a little New Order ish?  Whatever, it’s infectious to the point of brilliance. PSB are clearly accomplished musicians too, it’s not all programming and drum loops, they clearly have an ear for a perfect tune.  Waltz For George is simply beautiful. J Willgoose Esq plays a banjolele which was previously owned by his Uncle, George Willgoose, who perished at the age of 26 at the Battle of Dunkirk. The War Room has sold in excess of 10,000 copies – no mean feat nowadays.

Just over two years since the release of their debut recording,‘EP One’, they are back with another slice of infectious ear-candy in the form of Everest.  As before, samples from the archives are laid over incredibly likeable music – words from the feature-length 1953 documentary, The Conquest Of Everest and a tune not unlike Lemon Jelly circa Lost Horizons. The tune will not escape your head, I promise. Apparently, Everest was originally called Peak 15 – see, I’ve learnt something!

PSB are apparently also quite something live too, unfortunately, I’ve missed them to date, but I won’t if a second chance presents itself. They proudly boast that their music “teach(es) the lessons of the past through the music of the future”. I’ll second that. Look out for their debut album in Spring 2013 – it promises to be a cracker.

PSB’s website can be found here. They are also on Facebook, Twitter & Bandcamp.

All words Paul Scott-Bates. Paul’s website (where this first appeared) is Heaven Is A Place On Pendle. Paul has been working hard to save Radio Lancashire’s On The Wire, easily one of the best radio shows on the BBC. Follow him on twitter as @saveonthewire for all On The Wire news or follow his personal twitter, @hiapop.

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Born and bred in Lancashire, currently residing in the Rossendale Valley. Everything deserves one listen, but, not necessarily a second. Only (ex-Community) DJ to ever play Nat ‘King’Cole followed by Nine Inch Nails, and, eat Fish and Chips live on air.


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