Sunday, November 11, 2012

To the Opinionated on Omnipotent Bundles,

Based on recent airplay on BBC 6music, I decided to attend the concert arranged and performed by Public Service Broadcasting at The Lemon Tree. The concept of Public Service Broadcasting is quite intriguing; they use old excerpts from old footage alongside guitar, banjo, and keyboard to teach and entertain.

I came along too late to this duo, I missed all previous singles and only noticed them for Everest.  There was a sizeable and well-informed crowd to honour these two who had set up with an old cathode ray wooden framed television set taking pride of place at the front of the stage.

The performance was enjoyable and easy to appreciate as a concept. The music was largely synchronised with the footage played on the television and projected onto large screens and as a piece of art, PSB have to be admired for the care they put into presenting a complete package. I thought they were quite professional. They were well-received by the audience, some of whom may now see PSB as the Can or the Kraftwerk of today.

On the downside, I didn’t like the fact that they didn’t speak to the audience. They chose only to communicate in pre-recorded soundbites that were played at opportune moments. If limited to a few occasions, this would seem reasonably comical and charming, but choosing this as their sole method of communication, PSB seemed pretentious. In a city dominated by ill manners and the aloof, a stronger attempt to engage with the people would have been appreciated by me, possibly, only me.

The applause and attention of the audience was increased for Spitfire. It’s a lovely tune, I think it has elements of I Want More by Can through it. My PSB low point was the tune about drug use, I’ve never coped well with drugs and I had to turn away from the film. Thankfully, they ended the evening with Everest (I love the excerpt which says, 'A climber climbs with his guts, his brains, his soul and his feet', for I see this as being not true only of a climber), before departing to the theme from Last of the Summer Wine – the version without words.


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