There are some bands you know are going to be amazing live. I just knew At the Drive-In would be amazing as soon as I heard the controlled chaos in their sound. Then there are others you’ve just got to take a punt on.
I had no idea what Public Service Broadcasting would be like live. Their sound is reliant on samples, which could make them daring, or if there isn’t enough rawness……
The Joker and the Thief opened, who have a mellow soul sound. The singer, Dan, has massive pipes (that’s not a euphenism), and belts it out like a more reliable and souly Caleb from Kings of Leon.
The drums are quite basic as the singer’s standing up, and in all fairness it would be a hell of an effort to be complex with those expressive vocals. The stripped back drums aren’t as noticeable on slower songs though, which suits the band’s dynamic, especially with Josh giving it beans on sax.
Because of the high ceiling the sound from the crowd reverberates a bit, but when they break into a song about The Worm and strip it right back to the vocals, everyone quietens and there’s an electric feeling in the room. Very cool.
They finish with a cover of Nina Simone’s Sinnerman, which works well with the strong vocals & light cymbal work.
Public Service Broadcasting live by their name by having a massive TV screen in the middle of the stage, with the band standing at it’s periphery. Initially I found it all a bit distracting, but eventually settled on watching the band as well as the visuals. Wrigglesworth is really expressive on the drums at times, particularly on Elfstedentocht Part One.
They interspersed songs with pre-recorded sampled banter, working on the theme of old school broadcasting presenters, and delve even deeper into the motif by broadcasting themselves on the screen through Mr B’s visuals. All pretty crazy.
They play a fair few rousing songs, with hits including Spitfire, and the crowd certainly responded – there was a fair buzz around the Globe.
Even if it didn’t have the most organic of feelings, I can honestly say I’ve never been to a gig like it. Well done Public Service Broadcasting – they’ve definitely crafted something unique.