15 April 2018
On Saturday 14 April I wandered along to the Usher Hall in Edinburgh, with my regular gig-partner Patrick, to see Public Service Broadcasting. I was rather intrigued to see this band live, as I couldn’t envisage how they would replicated their music live. But before the main event started, we were treated to an equally enthralling set by Jane Weaver and her band. I didn’t realise that she was supporting them. So it was an evening full of surprises.
For those who haven’t come across Public Service Broadcasting before, I should explain that spoken samples from archive film and video footage is a common ingredient in the music that they create. Their last album – Every Valley – was based around the mining industry of South Wales, so the stage was suitable bedecked with coal mine pit-head wheels. As the opening bars to They Gave Me A Lamp filled the auditorium, miners lamps descended from above the stage and the hairs on the back of my neck stood on end. It was then, that I knew this concert was going to be rather special. And so it was.
For over 90 minutes we were treated to a series of numbers from this, and their other albums – Inform Educate Entertain and The Race For Space. The multi-talented members of the band: J. Willgoose Esq, JF Abraham and Wrigglesworth were joined on stage by a vision mixer, who produced visuals that complimented their music perfectly. For certain tracks, like the crowd-pleasing Gagarin, Public Service Broadcasting were also accompanied by a highly entertaining 3-man brass section, and this brought another dynamic to the show too.
I think I’d be correct in saying that the smiles, that this concert provided, didn’t leave my face for several days. I certainly put this gig in my top 3 all time greats! If you get the opportunity to see Public Service Broadcasting live, then I encourage you to go and see them. You’ll find that you’re in for an audio-visual feast.