Tag Archives: Wrigglesworth

2013 Albums of the Year #3: Public Service Broadcasting – Inform – Educate – Entertain

19 Dec

PSB_Album Art

It should come as no surprise at all to anyone who reads Alphabet Bands, even semi-regularly, to see that the debut album by Public Service Broadcasting should feature highly on our list of favourites from 2013. After topping our EP of the Year list in 2012 with The War Room, we, like many many others, were eagerly and excitedly awaiting the arrival of Inform – Educate – Entertain. We were not disappointed.

We’ve spoken at length about how skilfully and artfully they use the music and the melody to complement and enhance the narrative of the samples from old public information films and archive footage, but it is worth stating again. It is far too easy to get lost in the perceived gimmick of Public Service Broadcasting and to our mind that misses the point. The samples are critical of course, but the beauty and enjoyment comes from how they are used and woven into complimentary sounds to convey a narrative, emotion, excitement and energy.

There is no single thread here, but each track has been spun and entwined with its own individual soundtrack. “Signal 30” brilliantly evokes the sense of speed and drama, hurtling along at a breakneck pace with the guitars revving and growling engine like, an undercurrent of barely contained aggression bubbling away. “Everest” is ebullient, uplifting and triumphant. The swell of brass at the tracks culmination brings the feeling of achievement and success to life and instils a sense of warmth and euphoria in the listener while “The Now Generation” is much more playful and light-hearted.

There is variety here in spades, so much so that the samples actually augment the music, not the other way round. Naval Officer Thomas Woodrooffe’s infamous drunken account of the Spithead Review of 1937 could easily be played for laughs and dismissed but instead, on “Lit Up”, it forms a delicate and evocative accompaniment to a moment of wondrous and beautiful calm. ”It’s fairyland, the whole fleet is in fairyland”, he rambles as we are treated to floating electronics and church bells, very much the aural equivalent of the fairy lamps he can see all around him.

On an album as strong as Inform – Educate – Entertain it is hard to pick standout tracks, but you will have to go far to find a better album opener than the title track, a medley of the forthcoming delights that will have fans grinning from ear to ear, while the W.H. Auden featuring “Night Mail” is just sublime.

As wonderful as the samples are and as perfectly chosen and utilised as they have been, attention should be on the undeniable quality of the music presented, the emotions that it is able to stir within and the simple fact that, because of those factors, you will be listening to this for a long time to come. It’s a fantastic accomplishment and one that does everything it says it will, and then some.

’Inform – Educate – Entertain’ is out on Test Card Recordings and can be bought digitally here or on CD/Vinyl here.


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Watch: Public Service Broadcasting – “Night Mail”

28 Sep

PSB Night Mail Video

We’ve already waxed lyrical about Public Service Broadcasting’s forthcoming single, “Night Mail”. Hell, we’ve already and regularly waxed lyrical about Public Service Broadcasting. Their singles, album, live shows etc etc. We are big fans, you already know that, so we won’t bore you by going on and on today about how amazing they are (they’re fantastic!). Instead we will just talk about their brand new video.

New being the operative word as here they are, doing something they haven’t done before. Filmed on location at the Mangapps Railway Museum and directed by Rob Hackett, the video for “Night Mail” features more than just archive footage from the 1936 documentary film of the same name, it also features appearances from Mr J. Willgoose, Esq and Wrigglesworth themselves!

It has to be said, it’s great to see the pair in one of their own videos for once; resplendent in corduroy and looking only slightly frozen (the video was filmed over night after the warm weather had passed, poor sods). It also has to be said that the video really adds something to an already superb tune, especially the way the old footage has been projected on various locations across the museum.

“Night Mail” is probably our favourite tune from their stellar debut album, Inform – Educate – Entertain but these new visuals have added another layer, a greater sense of majesty and reverence for the subject matter perhaps.

Take a watch below and enjoy yet another piece of brilliance from the Public Service Broadcasting guys.


”Night Mail” will be released on various formats on 4 Nov and the duo are also releasing a DVD of the album which will feature all the videos, live performances and extras. You can pre-order the DVD now and the first 200 copies will be signed by the band.

’Inform – Educate – Entertain’ is out now and can be bought digitally here or on CD/Vinyl here.

You can also catch a Public Service Broadcasting live transmission at a venue near you as their
never-ending gig schedule continues.

Read More About: Public Service Broadcasting

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Listen: Public Service Broadcasting – “Night Mail”

12 Sep

PSB Night Mail

It’s been quite a year for the charming gents of Public Service Broadcasting already. Their stunningly enjoyable (and educational) debut album stormed the UK top 40 and was nominated for independent album of the year (as well as breakthrough artist) at the recent AIM Awards. Bizarrely, in our opinion, it wasn’t nominated for the Mercury Prize but when you look at the list of albums that didn’t make it, they are in good company.

One award they weren’t nominated for was hardest working band, which beggars belief when you consider their never-ending gig schedule and the number of high quality releases they have put out in the last 12 months or so.

In fact, it is another stellar release that gives us cause to wax lyrical about them once more today as Messrs Willgoose and Wrigglesworth are putting out our favourite track from Inform – Educate – Entertain on 4 November, “Night Mail”. There will also be a video which, as far as we can tell, may even feature the duo themselves rather than just archive footage!

Built around words from the 1936 documentary film of the same name, and the W.H. Auden poem, also of the same name, “Night Mail” is a prime example of what makes Public Service Broadcasting so damn special. It’s not that they use the audio; it’s how they use the audio and how they create and arrange the music to complement and enhance it. To tell a story and give a sense of emotion and connection between words, music and listener.

Auden’s poem itself clatters along with the rhythm, tempo and cadence of a steam train charging through the countryside so it is only right that “Night Mail” does the same. In the same way that “Signal 30” careers recklessly around like a car on the verge of an accident, “Night Mail” remains very much on the tracks, moving relentlessly, excitingly forwards with majestic, rolling scenery all around it. It’s fantastic and as the conductor yells “now” and the train whistle blares out, guitars and drums meet in a perfect storm of controlled energy and ambition as the track steams along.

We love it, all aboard!

”Night Mail” will be released on various formats on 4 Nov and the duo are also releasing a DVD of the album which will feature all the videos, live performances and extras. You can pre-order the DVD now and the first 200 copies will be signed by the band.

’Inform – Educate – Entertain’ is out now and can be bought digitally here or on CD/Vinyl here.


Read More About: Public Service Broadcasting

Stalk Public Service Broadcasting: Website / Twitter / Facebook