It's a marvellous BFI Friday ; Public Service Broadcasting INTERVIEWPublic Service Broadcasting's blend of archive footage and electronics has won the duo an award, the approval of BBC 6Music listeners and a slot supporting the Rolling Stones. J Willgoose, Esq spoke to Sophie Diver about their mission to inform, educate, and entertain.
How did the idea to incorporate footage into music come about? I heard about the release of some films online from the British Film Institute archive; they posted a series of public information films on the internet.
I discovered a couple of films, made a few songs from them and because it got a good response from my friends I ended up doing more.
What can Nottingham expect from your live show? It's a slightly unusual set-up; we've got me playing electronics, a guitar, and a banjo and Wrigglesworth on the drums. At the same time, almost sort of taking the position of a frontman, we've got the visuals that we show in sync to the music. We have several old TV sets for the Nottingham show; I think we've got about 18!
Is your music away of trying to keep some old-fashioned formalities alive? I don't know if things are ever as great in the past and as terrible today as most people would have you believe. But at the same time there were certain qualities back then that do seem to have been slung by the wayside that are admirable.
Like the unflappable spirit of the Blitz, I mean there's nothing around today to compare to that.
If you could use any film, what would you love to interpret into music? I'd love to do something David Attenborough-based; almost as a tribute to him. He's an absolute titan of public service broadcasting. But I don't think it would ever happen; we'd need a much higher profile to gain the rights!
So, you'll be supporting Rolling Stones at Hyde Park... Yeah, that was an interesting phone call! It's exciting but the overall feeling is just that's really weird. I never really would've expected that. It'll be a nice poster to keep, if nothing else!
Your album title is Inform. Educate. Entertain. What is it that you want people to take from your music? I think the emphasis is very much on the entertain. I think there are definitely some informational messages that people can take away from it, but it's people's own reactions to it that's more important.
At the same time, I have had several people saying that they have been using our music in schools and someone from the Royal Artillery Museum used it in a presentation, but for me it's about entertaining. Public Service Broadcasting play the Bodega in Pelham Street next Friday, May 17. Sold out.
Sound and vision: Public Service Broadcasting's J Willgoose, Esq.
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