SXSW Preview: Public Service Broadcasting

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South London-based duo Public Service Broadcasting released one of the most intriguing albums of 2013 in “Inform, Educate, Entertain – a fast paced, glorious pastiche of audio samples from public information films, newsreels, and propaganda sampled over carefully layered strings, drums, and nifty electronic effects.

They joined us for a live session in advance of a mini US tour landing in Austin during SXSW. It was their first ever U.S. radio session!

The night before the session, I ventured out to the Bootleg Theater because I was curious to see how this would translate into a club setting. There was also a great visual element which I wasn’t expecting, but made perfect sense given the nature of the project.

Film clips highlighting the looks of swinging London in the 1960s accompanied the playful, fashion focused track “The Now Generation.” Newsreels showing people climbing Mt. Everest through the ages played during “Everest”. And there was plenty of car/road footage for the song addressing those themes, “Signal 30”, though thankfully none of it as violent as I would have expected based on the Driver’s Ed. film shown in the Mad Men episode of the same name.

Public Service Broadcasting have created one of the best, most immersive concert experiences I’ve witnessed in quite some time. If you’re Austin bound for SXSW, be sure to put them at the top of your list of bands to check out. You can find their schedule here.