Tag Archives: Public Service Broadcasting


Don’t Miss Public Service Broadcasting at Music Hall of Williamsburg

September 12th, 2017

On paper, Public Service Broadcasting’s music might sound like a gimmick: They compose and perform sweeping instrumentals around bits of spoken word taken from historical audio recordings—archival tapes, newsreels, propaganda. Their 2015 album, The Race for Space (stream it below), featured a variety of tracks that covered the early history of space travel, and their newest, Every Valley (stream it below), charts the coal industry in South Wales. In practice, these songs prove the London trio, operating as J. Willgoose, Esq., Wrigglesworth and JF Abraham, to be expert documentarians. The music tells compelling stories, finding modern-day relevance and emotional hooks in the brief historical snippets delivered in a soaring post-rock package. Public Service Broadcasting (above, performing “Gagarin”) will bring their history-steeped instrumentals to Music Hall of Williamsburg tomorrow night. They’ll be rocking songs about space and coal and much more. And who knows, you just might learn something and have a good time. —A. Stein | @Neddyo



A Public Service Broadcasting Dance Party at The Bowery Ballroom

April 13th, 2015

Public Service Broadcasting – The Bowery Ballroom – April 10, 2015

With a name like Public Service Broadcasting, it’s easy to get a little dyslexic and mistake them for the Public Broadcasting Service. But this London duo repurposes samples from public information films with stark and catchy instrumentation. J. Willgoose, Esq. adds strings and samplings while Wrigglesworth takes cares of the drums. Both have a hand at the electronic instruments, but they don’t sing. With their latest release, The Race for Space, the lads take on the USSR literally, taking clips from speeches and old public service announcements during the battle to get the first man on the moon.

Three, two, one: Commence liftoff to an intergalactic dance party at The Bowery Ballroom Friday on night. The bookish pair landed onstage with little fanfare as Wrigglesworth tapped the drum pads for the opening of “Sputnik.” Throughout the evening, songs were complemented with old stock footage mostly of the space race, but also other montages ranging from motor transit to the heights of Everest. In addition to not singing, neither band member spoke throughout the set, but rather opted for a speech synthesizer to communicate, although Willgoose, Esq. added emphatic arm gestures to punctuate the robotic vocal greetings and commentary. It was especially executed on “Theme From PSB,” as he cleverly included “Bowery Ballroom” into the song. The dance floor was really pumping for the Daft Punk–like, guitar-driven track “E.V.A.” and the b-boy beat of “Gagarin.” My personal favorite moment of the night came with the more quiet and melodic “Valentina,” which paid homage to the first woman astronaut, Valentina Tereshkova, as footage of her training and return from her launches.

Approaching the end of the set, Public Service Broadcasting offered more tracks from their debut album, Inform-Educate-Entertain, including fan favorites “ROYGBIV” and the song about a plane, “Spitfire.” Not to let the crowd leave feeling unfulfilled, PSB returned to encore with a new tune, “The Other Side,” and an old song, “Everest.” The evening offered not only dance-y tunes, but also visual aids that took concertgoers back in time. The touchdown back to reality might have been abrupt, but the wonders experienced would stay with us. —Sharlene Chiu


A Unique Live Experience with Public Service Broadcasting

April 8th, 2015

A Public Service Broadcasting show is a unique live performance. With music, spoken word and live audio-visual effects, multi-instrumentalist J. Willgoose Esq. and drummer Wrigglesworth combine their own krautrock riffs, drums, banjo and electronics with archival audio clips and film footage mined from the British Film Institute. Their first full-length, Inform-Educate-Entertain (stream it below), came out to some acclaim three years ago. And earlier this winter, Public Service Broadcasting (above, doing “London Can Take It” for KEXP FM), put out their follow-up effort, The Race for Space (stream it below), a retelling of the space race with the Soviet Union. Per British GQ, “The Race for Space is an album that really takes you somewhere (no prizes for guessing where), and when you’re back on Earth as the final track fades away, you’ll be desperate to listen again…. It’s an unexpectedly magnificent record, at once totally contemporary, and yet in thrall to the events of the past.” Public Service Broadcasting play The Bowery Ballroom on Friday night. Los Angeles electronic outfit Kauf open the show.