Public Service Broadcasting have released a new single and announced a forthcoming album on Play It Again Sam, set for release on 24 September. The band will tour through the UK during October and November 2021.
London’s Public Service Broadcasting (guitarist and keyboard guru J. Willgoose, Esq, drummer and percussionist Wrigglesworth, multi-instrumentalist JFAbraham and visuals expert Mr B) play music which has consistently evolved over time and their new single, People, Let’s Dance does nothing to buck the trend.
They started with the 2013 album Inform Educate Entertain on a strict diet of electronic focused instrumentals laced with jingoistic public information films and propaganda honed from the archives of the British Film Institute. Subjects ranged from the LMS Railway London to Glasgow overnight postal train, through the development of the Spitfire to Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay’s first successful ascent of Everest.
Through subsequent albums, the band have explored the cold war US/Soviet quest for dominance aloft in The Race For Space and the rise and fall of the Welsh coal mining industry in Every Valley. With each iteration, the music has evolved: choirs, strings and horns abound and the reliance on archive audio samples has reduced. 2017’s Every Valley had vocals contributed by Manic Street Preacher’s James Dean Bradfield, Welsh language singer Lisa Jên Brown and Camera Obscura’s Tracyanne Campbell.
New single People, Let’s Dance, successfully looks in two directions at once. Going back, the sound is very biased towards early PSB electronica – there are clear echoes and nods to 80’s Depeche Mode and Kraftwork. Going forward, the vocal contributed by Berlin-based musician EERA is sung almost entirely in German and there is a complete absence of archive speech samples.
Coinciding with the release is a brilliant video directed by Chloë Hayward which features five colourful choreographed roller-skaters filmed in Greenwich on the shore of the Thames. It’s got a retro feel, enhanced through being shot in 4:3 aspect, just like your telly used to be.
The single and album, to be entitled Bright Magic, were recorded in Berlin’s famous Hansa Tonstudio recording complex (home to Bowie’s Heroes, U2’s Achtung Baby and Iggy Pop’s Lust For Life among others). The album is themed as a tribute to the art and expression of the city of Berlin and moreover to Europe as a whole. It’s likely to continue the establishment in the single of German-speaking sung vocals and a near absence of vocal samples.
To promote Bright Magic, Public Service Broadcasting will be on tour in the UK through October and November 2021 – full dates are listed below.
Tickets are on general sale on 9 June and are available here.
Public Service Broadcasting live dates:
Sun 24 Cardiff University Great Hall
Mon 25 Brighton Dome
Tues 26 Bristol O2 Academy
Wed 27 Exeter The Great Hall
Thurs 28 Southampton O2 Guildhall
Sat 30 Aylesbury Friars Waterside
Sun 31 Birmingham O2 Institute
Mon 1 Leeds O2 Academy
Tues 2 Llandudno Venue Cymru
Thurs 4 Manchester O2 Apollo
Fri 5 Newcastle O2 City Hall
Sat 6 Aberdeen Music Hall
Sun 7 Glasgow Barrowland
Tues 9 Nottingham Rock City
Wed 10 London O2 Brixton Academy
Thurs 11 Cambridge Corn Exchange