Live Review

Public Service Broadcasting, Peckham Audio, London

“If you don’t have these places to play, you’re just not going to get the same grade of talent that the UK has been lucky to have for the last several years,” says frontman J. Willgoose Esq.

As the audience begins to filter through the trendy, mood-lit Peckham Audio, they’re greeted by the serene electronic synths of the night’s opening act, Grass Temple. Excitement quickly builds as the headliners take to the stage. Bringing stage names, sound effects, and set design, we are welcomed to the world of Public Service Broadcasting with a joyous buzz. “I hope you lot brought ear plugs,” smirks frontman J. Willgoose Esq. as he glances out at the intimate, 200-capacity crowd. Having long moved on to larger pastures, it feels surreal to have the band squeezed onto this tiny stage, but via pioneering new urban transport app FREE NOW on behalf of the Music Venue Trust, they’re here for one night only. Opening with ‘Im Licht’ and ‘Der Rhythmus Der Maschinen’, from the offset it’s clear the band aren’t going to let the lack of space get in their way. Song after song, they remain slick and stunningly in sync as their show brings a feast for the eyes and ears alike. Visual aids aside, however, the music itself is nothing short of cinematic. Featuring tender, subtle moments right through to striking breakdowns, Public Service Broadcasting take the crowd on a journey with each number. From eulogising on the Titanic to the moon landing, the band are storytellers who have found a niche and run with it. Using sound samples from across many decades, they add emotion and depth to their songs, which comes across even more raw when heard live. In praise of the Music Venue Trust, the frontman comments, “If you don’t have these places to play, and to get it wrong multiple times - as I certainly did - you’re just not going to get the same grade of talent that the UK has been lucky to have for the last several years.” They then launch into an encore of ‘People, Let’s Dance’, bringing together the upbeat and the utterly surreal. As the last notes of final song ‘Everest’ ring out, both the band and punters alike have smiles plastered across their faces. An audiovisual sensation featuring catchy synth hooks and a flugelhorn, it’s safe to say that a Public Service Broadcasting show is a unique experience - and one made all the more special in such intimate surrounds.

Photos: Katie Frost

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Tags: Reviews, Live Reviews

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