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Live Music Review: Public Service Broadcasting at Rough Trade

12 July 17 words: Gav Squires

Where do you go after an album about the space race? If you're Public Service Broadcasting, the obvious answer is recording an album about the coal mining in the Welsh valleys. The band come to Rough Trade to host an album launch party for new LP Every Valley. 

Opening with The Pit and People Will Always Need Coal, it's interesting to see how much the addition of the projected footage really adds to the songs. Recent single Progress features the disembodied vocals of Tracyanne Campbell from Camera Obscura, augmented with live vocals through vocoder. 

Some bands that play in store gigs only focus on the newest album but Public Service Broadcasting drop in a few older favourites including Spitfire, from debut album Inform-Educate-Entertain. Then it's back to the new album for They Gave Me A Lamp. This is followed by All Out, which is even rockier live than it is on record.

Unlike at a lot of Public Service Broadcasting gigs, frontman J Willgoose esq actually talks to the audience rather than just using his computer - although he does use it to give a "calm down" to someone continually asking for "night train" (I think he must have meant Night Mail) The band really seem to be having fun on stage, making the most of the small venue and actually being able to see the audience right up close. 

They then play a couple of tracks from The Race For Space, live favourite Go! and Gagarin, which still sounds like the theme song to a Yuri Gagarin biopic where Richard Roundtree is playing the lead role. A small but perfectly formed set closes with Everest and the fans all leave clutching their signed copies of Every Valley. 

The new Public Service Broadcasting album Every Valley is available now

Rough Trade website

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