Thursday, 9 May 2013

Public Service Broadcasting at ABC, Glasgow

Public Service Broadcasting, Inform Educate Entertain Tour, Live Review

Maybe it was my recent morning spent browsing old films in the BFI Mediatheque at Bridgeton Library that drew me to Public Service Broadcasting who played last night in the ABC2 in Glasgow. However, I was glad that I went and as my wife said afterwards "that was better than most things that you drag me to."

They have just released their first album, Inform Educate Entertain, and to promote it are doing a wee tour of the UK. They've a couple of EPs under their belt and their live shows are fairly unique. They are a two piece who go under the names of Wigglesworth on drums and corduroy-clad and bespectacled J. Willgoose Esq on electronic jiggery-pokery, banjo and guitar. They play live in front of old TVs and a screen playing sampled archive films and snippets of voices. Here is what you can end up with...

I was hypnotised by some of the film footage such as the road safety film and the old documentary "Night Mail" and the music blended well with it. Although there was no chat from them except computer generated voices, รก la Kraftwerk, they were humorous enough amidst what was at risk of becoming a bit dry, with a roomful of people standing to watch a band play over footage of the London blitz or 50s fashion shows. It was entertaining stuff, but it is hard to focus on the films and the music. I've bought the album now to see how it works on its own. The music reminded me of Zombie Zombie who also do this sort of thing over old films. I saw a great performance by them accompanying Eisenstein's Battleship Potemkin at the Arches once. I also have been humming tunes by Looper (Belle and Sebastian's Stuart David) since coming out of the gig, which they reminded me of.
Well worth catching if you get the chance. Tightly worked, catchy, hypnotic but I think I'd like to sit in a comfy chair and tap my toes to it next time I see them.
PS Can I also say that their merchandise is quite groovy?

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