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PUBLIC SERVICE BROADCASTING - O2 City Hall, Newcastle 05.11.2021

Back in 2012 I heard the 'War Rooms' EP and was immediately smitten with Public Service Broadcasting and their style. I first saw them that same year in a small venue in York when they were still just a duo. 9 years later and many gigs between its fantastic to see how far they have come and evolved to bring the 'Bright Magic' tour to the Newcastle City Hall.

Taking the stage as a five piece (for now) there’s no sign of corduroy or elbow patches as J. Wilgoose , Wrigglesworth, JF Abraham, Mr B and Eera (who also performed a solo set as support) resplendent in all white create an almost Kraftwerk esque vision standing in front of the three video screens behind their respective instruments.

As the new album 'Bright Magic' is inspired by Wilgoose’s move to Berlin this image / homage is no big surprise and it complements the visuals throughout creating some stunning set pieces with the videos, light show and lasers.

Straight in with the first three tracks from the album ('Der Sumpf', 'Im Licht', 'Der Rhythmus Der Maschinen') they enthral the Newcastle crowd for almost two hours managing to dip into all of their previous albums and EPs . Considering each album has a set theme it must be hard deciding which tunes inspired by the coal mines ('Progress', 'People Will Always Need Coal', 'All Out') space travel ('Sputnik', 'Go!' ) The Titanic ('White Star Liner') and more will sit nicely between 9 out of the 11 tracks from the latest release. But that is the beauty of Public Service Broadcastings’ music the way they structure the set nothing is out of place and it all works together beautifully!

I think 'Night Mail' will always be one of my favourite PSB tunes so I was thrilled that it was still in the set with that wonderful W H Auden poem put to a melody and beats. Of course 'Spitfire' gets a huge reaction from the crowd taking them back to the bands beginnings before coming back up to date with all three mesmerising parts of 'Lichtspiel' which melt perfectly into 'The Other Side' which no matter how many times I hear it I still hold my breath during the loss of contact with Apollo 8 part!

'Go!' brings the main set to an air punching close but they’re far from finished yet, 'People Let’s Dance' is hard to stand still to but that’s just warming you up for the brassy section and dancing cosmonaut that signals 'Gagarin'. Ending on the tale of mans quest with nature 'Everest' I’m once again blown away by the uniqueness that Public Service Broadcasting have and I’m so glad that more and more people seem to be cottoning on to this having taken 'Bright Magic' to number two in the charts and 'The Race For Space' going gold!

Well done chaps Thank You Very Very Much.

Photos & Review - G's Gig Shots


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