hmv.com reviews... Public Service Broadcasting @ Cardiff Y Plas
Acclaimed oddballs Public Service Broadcasting rolled through Cardiff earlier this week and we were there to review them...
The most out-there prog indie-rock samplers Public Service Broadcasting, touring their new album The Race For Space...
In Cardiff University's Y Plas.
Was it full? And how were the crowd?
The room itself gets very busy beforehand with everybody trying to get the best view of the stage. PSB aren't the sort of band for sing-alongs or dancing, however the closest this comes is during 'Go'...
So what was the set like? What did they play?
The set is frequently surprising and always entertaining right from the off. We are treated to a short infomercial regarding the correct concert etiquette in terms of photo taking and talking loudly. This tongue in cheeky tone is common throughout the duration.
Opening with 'Sputnik' from The Race For Space, it's a slow build but perfectly establishes each member of the band and highlights the progression of their music. In comparison Signal 30 follows which were it not for the samples is the closest thing to straight up rock they go and comes to life even more in its live setting.
Throughout the set we see a multitude of instruments on show from the standard keyboards, bass and guitar to brass sections, flugelhorns and even a banjo on 'Theme from PSB'. The accompanying light show during these songs including 'Night Mail' is very impressive telling a story whilst playing at the same time.
Debuting new song 'Korolev' for the first time tonight feels like a genuine treat along with the best song about 'Dutch Ice Skating' you will likely hear! As the audience hear the opening notes of Spitfire from their debut album it gets the biggest cheer of the night so far.
The next comes half way through 'The Other Side' which really tells a story through its sampling and use of stage lighting. As the ship in the story travels around to the dark side of the moon, the stage goes into darkness until some dangling stars from the ceiling light up. As the band come back in again the crowd cheer along with the footage.
Go is the closest the crowd gets to singing along whilst an encore return for 'Gegarin' is the closest everyone gets to a dance. Accompanied by jazzy suits, a grooving brass section as well as a dancing astronaut at the back, it's great to see the band not taking themselves too seriously and having as much fun as the audience are.
Did they put on much of a show?
The light show is very impressive accompanied by some screens at the back showing the footage which accommodates the music. Each of the band members are characters in themselves bringing a sense of humour to proceedings by throwing themselves into it.
Any good between song banter?
The band themselves go under their own pseudonyms so there is no actual verbal communication with the crowd. Yet frontman J. Willgoose Esq communicates to the crowd through his computer which really maintains their sense of humour and fun that they have with everybody.
What was the highlight of the set?
New single 'Korolev' stands out from the rest particularly when a brass section get involved and takes it up another gear.
Where can I catch them next?
The tour sees them visiting London with next year arriving at Leeds, Edinburgh and Liverpool. They are also playing a massive show with the Manic Street Preachers in Swansea's Liberty Stadium over the summer.