Public Service Broadcasting

by Bertie Mackenzie

_Photo credit: Wikipedia Commons._

Every band wants to regard themselves as unique. Unfortunately everyone sounds similar to someone, and unfortunately most bands you hear sound lazily unoriginal. Public Service Broadcasting, however, in using audio sampling rather than vocals have created something truly original. They are like no one else. With three incredibly diverse albums under their belt, Public Service Broadcasting have created a large and loyal fanbase and garnered much critical acclaim. Made up of three multi-talented musicians, Public Service Broadcasting tackle making albums in an unusual way. Their starting point is the theme of the album, and from this theme they find their audio samples. The first album was an array of almost educational piece-talking about everything from spitfires to the transportation of mail, the second album covered the space race, with even John F. Kennedy making an appearance. In their newest offering, Public Service Broadcasting tackle mining in Wales. The real art in their work is not how they make brilliant dramatic music, or even the spoken word pieces they sample, but how they pair the two and how suited both elements seem together. The atmosphere that is created on Every Valley is incredibly breathtaking and evokes feelings so powerful that the album is almost too tense to not be given your full concentration.

One would be forgiven for thinking that a band that works so heavily with samples and has almost no sung vocals may struggle to create atmosphere live. However, nothing could be further from the reality of seeing Public Service Broadcasting live. What Public Service Broadcasting lack in conventionality they more than make up for with charisma and wit. From props of sputnik to dancers dressed as astronauts, their shows are surreal and at points very amusing. Without having a microphone, J. Willgoose, Esq uses samples to thank the crowd, and talk to them, which creates such an odd and wonderful atmosphere it is almost hard to describe. In all, they are somehow a fantastic live band, even though their music is so sample heavy. Exeter Cathedral to me seems like a perfect venue for them to showcase there latest triumph. They may have even have found a venue as epic as their sound, I can’t wait to see them once more!