Grams For The Public And Loops For The Poor

Recognise this handsome pair?

PSB1

Why, it’s none other than Public Service Broadcasting, the brainchild of banjo-gutair-synth-n-samples-wielding maestro J. Willgoose Esq. (right) and drummer Wrigglesworth (left) who are currently on a whistle-stop UK tour promoting debut album ‘Inform, Educate, Entertain’, available now in all good record shops. You might remember that back at the beginning of 2012 they asked your humble scribe to provide a warm-up DJ set for their live show at Tooting Broadway Market. Well, the stakes have been considerably upped since then and I was recently delighted to receive a second invitation to provide ‘the grams’, only this time at a sold-out show at Shoreditch’s  rather enormous Village Underground. The result was a carefully chosen selection of corduroy-flavoured jams (including a couple of requests from Mr. Willgoose himself) likely to appeal to an expectant crowd awaiting PSB’s high-octane mix of newsreel footage, public information films, thundering drums and sleek electronics. I’m posting it here for the benefit of those who missed it – you would also have missed these fellows subsequently tearing the roof off , but I’m afraid there’s not much I can do about that until the DVD comes out:

This was my ‘in-between bands’ set and while a couple of these tracks have featured in my online mixtapes before, surely nobody could dispute their collective status as party-rocking gold standard.  I also have a recording of the evening’s much longer opening set featuring a more laid-back mix of vintage library favourites, but I thought it best not to saturate the market just yet. I’ll get round to posting it up at some point.

In other electronic-rock-related news, shouty South-London legends and former Marc Riley session guests Chips For The Poor took over Dexter Bentley’s ‘Hello Goodbye’ show on Resonance FM last weekend and delivered their usual irresistible mix of  ‘top bants’ (as I believe the current parlance would have it), live music, slightly wonky Enya-bashing ragga and bird sounds in close-up.  You’ll remember Chips from their marvellous single ‘Fistula’ released last year and featuring one of my all-time favourite promo videos, even better than that Max Tundra one where he plays battenburg cake as if it was a synthesiser:
More pertinently, I’m happy to announce that of the ninety-minute duration of this broadcast extravaganza, at least twelve of  those minutes were given away to exclusive and unreleased material from Howlround, my freshly-minted tape-spooling duo with Chris Weaver. These recordings were preparatory improvised sketches recorded the night before our debut gig in Brighton a couple of weeks ago, but we decided we were rather proud of these first steps into the unknown and thought it might be nice to show them off a bit. But not too much – downloading the podcast below is, for the forseeable future, the only place you’ll get to hear them. What teases we are:

Speaking of teasing, though I’m reticent to lay bare  the editorial processes of this website,  a desire for full disclosure forces me to reveal that when searching  for a nice press shot of Mr. Willgoose online, this really rather upsetting article was the very first thing to, quite literally, pop up. Displaying a morally ambiguous combination of sympathetic biography with cheap, titillating sensationalism, it’s the kind of thing you could imagine a guffawing Sid James reading aloud to Bernard Bresslaw in deleted scenes from ‘Carry On Being Objectionable’. I can assure you that my search criteria was merely ‘Willgoose’ rather than ‘handsome pair’, so heaven only knows what would have happened if I’d googled the title of recent PSB hit single ‘Spit Fire Bird’ – a flaming Barbara Windsor, perhaps? What kind of world are we living in where we can’t even find a sensible answer on the internet?

Curious times, my friends…

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