Normally the words "Concept Album" are enough to make everyone at Contact Towers' blood run cold - we're thinking full on Jeff Wayne, chances of anything coming from Mars here - but for Public Service Broadcasting, it seems the most accurate term to apply to both their slightly awkward premise and, equally, the music which it spawns.
PSB are as a result something of an acquired taste; one person's University Challenge whilst being another's Top of The Pops. The duo (J. Willgoose, Esq. and Wrigglesworth - yes, we know) emerged in 2013 with their début album 'Inform-Educate-Entertain', a title which doubled up as their mission statement, one that in these less than cerebral times for music was at least an ambitious rallying call.
Its successor, 'The Race For Space', you will be unsurprised to know is made up of a series of their retro-sample heavy instrumentals, focussed around the pivotal 20th century milestones in man's attempts to escape the Earth's benign hug. Given that it's a contest of which we already know the results, this is a much braver choice than it looks; as a species, our fascination with space appears to have waned in the last 50 years, our pre-occupations since in line with more parochial concerns such as blowing each other up.
Continue reading: Public Service Broadcasting - The Race For Space Album Review
In my younger and more vulnerable years a hippie gave me some advice that I've been turning over in my mind ever since.
"Whenever you feel you need the toilet at a festival," he told me, "just remember that the ones inside the arena get cleaned right after 11:30 so try your best to bake it until then."
And thus begins my memory of festivals: endless fields strewn with discarded baggies and cardboard cups. Herds of pink-coiffed punks and dreadlocked crusties impaled with a thousand miniature stainless steel objects, all bogling together outside a legal highs tent shaking in the wind. My own innumerable psychological breakdowns inside hot portaloos of a harrowing state, the image of which has been indelibly tattooed onto my consciousness. All this to the backdrop of countless bands whom I have varied recollection of actually seeing. In this way, just as remembrance and the fiction consumed amalgamates into one shapeless blob, so do the festivals of my youth all fuse into one long, undying gestalt festival in my mind.
Continue reading: Visions Festival 2013 Review