A packed Rock City provided the duo of J. Willgoose Esq. and Wrigglesworth, collectively known as Public Service Broadcasting (PSB), with their largest headline show outside of their home city of London. An amusing and playful informational piece created by the band warning against the overuse of phones set the tone for the evening. It was quite an impressive feat how the band were able to engage the crowd with wit and humour despite them once addressing them on stage, and a credit to a band who have not sacrificed any part of their creative vision to achieve their goals.
The set began with one of the most commercially well received singles from the band’s latest record The Race for Space in ‘Sputnik’. Supported by a myriad of entertaining visuals throughout the beginning of the set, the duo had the crowd hanging off of every single chord. This continued throughout the set as they interchanged between a fine selection of songs of both their first and second LP’s including ‘Korolev’ and ‘Valentina’.
“PBS is a band who have not sacrificed any part of their creative vision to achieve their goals”
The intensity rose again near the end of the main set as ‘Spitfire’ received a superb reaction from the crowd, and it became clear at this point that Public Service Broadcasting are a special band to witness live and there was a sense within the crowd of how lucky we all were to see this. Then the climax to the set was incredible as just when it felt as though the atmosphere had peaked PSB were holding back ‘Go!’. The combination of searing guitar riffs and Gene Krantz voice may seem like unlikely bedfellows but it works tremendously to provide a catchy alternative anthem that was chanted with great enthusiasm by the legion of fans. To then follow this with ‘Tomorrow’ left the fans wanting more after they left the stage.
PSB excitedly ran back on stage soon after, their reaction seemed to be that off a band who were genuinely surprised and deeply flattered by the immense support they were receiving. Undoubtedly the highlight of the night followed as accompanied by a saxophone and a dancing spaceman the duo broke into ‘Gagarin’. The intelligence behind the music matching the recordings of the first man to enter space is both unique and fascinating and proves PSB to be one of the most innovative British bands of recent years. This then led into the night’s finale of ‘Everest’ which charts man’s discovery of the world’s highest peak, a fitting end as this rising band will keep on striving towards even greater heights.
Image: Paul Hudson via Flickr
Co-Editor of the Music Section at University of Nottingham’s IMPACT Magazine.