Very few musical acts or bands could possibly create a body of work that references subjects so diverse as Marie Slocombe, the 1942 film The First of the Few and a drunken radio broadcast from HMS Nelson.
But then again, very few musical acts or bands come in the form of Public Service Broadcasting, the musical brainchild of J.Willgoose Esq, a bow-tied musical genius hailing from Wimbledon.
My own introduction to Public Service Broadcasting came through this album – while I was aware of the tremendous Turn No More, from the album Every Valley thanks to its contribution by the lead singer of my long-term loves, Manic Street Preachers, in the form of James Dean Bradfield, it turned out there was another Public Service Broadcasting track I’d liked without even realising it.
There was always a track featured in the backing music during the excellent ITV4 coverage of the British Touring Car Championship that I really liked, although for some reason confined only to my slightly incurious mind and wayward memory, I never tried to find out what it was. Maybe I thought it was just production music like the theme tune.
Anyway, one day, I’m listening to the equally excellent Sprigg’s Radio Show, which you can catch every Tuesday evening between 8 and 10pm, and he plays a track called ‘Spitfire’ by Public Service Broadcasting. Instantly recognising it, I had an album to seek.
That is what led me to Inform-Educate-Entertain, and the start of the journey which saw me fall in love with one of the most unique bands currently in the indie/alternative scene.
So, what can I tell you about Inform-Educate-Entertain? Well, it’s a history lesson set to some truly cracking, often rousing music. For those who have never come across Public Service Broadcasting, by way of an introduction – the album is not just a title. It’s a sign of things to come.
Interweaving samples from historical clips, each song tells a story. For example, Spitfire features clips from the 1942 film The First of the Few, about the supermarine spitfire aircraft.
Theme from PSB has Marie Slocombe speaking about the BBC Sound Archive, Signal 30 has a road safety theme, with clips from the 1959 road safety film of the same name.
Night Mail is based on a 1936 documentary, ROYGBIV covers the invention of colour television and then there’s Everest, all about the 1953 British Mount Everest expedition.
That’s not to forget a notorious drunken radio broadcast, which we at NCB Radio have never taken inspiration from, especially not the B’stardettes.
The track Lit Up features a drunken radio broadcast from Thomas Woodrooffe, on board the HMS Nelson at the Spithead review.
There are other tracks, but who would I be to spoil the surprise? Give it a listen. You might discover more than one thing new.