Monday, 5 November 2018

Memories of 2018 gigs #7

Public Service Broadcasting
Support: Perfect Body
Riverside Theatre, Newport - 28 October 2018

Can you believe it's been a whole year since we last caught Public Service Broadcasting? In that time, they've taken their tales of Welsh coal mining around the world and back agin, picking up even more plaudits than I reckon even they thought possible. Now back in the land where their wonderful album 'Every Valley' was originally recorded as a way of bidding it farewell, a show in our hometown was too good to resist. This time, MrsRobster and I introduced TheMadster and TheEmster to the live splendour of PSB for the first time.

This was our first visit to the Riverside Theatre, despite having passed it countless times. It sits on the bank of the river Usk slap bang in the city centre. It's a small space as far as theatres go, but ideal for a show like this one. Sadly, still a little too big for support band Perfect Body from Cardiff. It was clear what they were trying to do - despite probably none of them being born when Ride, Chapterhouse and Slowdive released their debut albums, they sounded like all three. There were three problems really: firstly, this really was the wrong venue for them, being much more suited to somewhere like Clwb Ifor Bach or The Globe. Secondly, their look. They didn't really have one, a real ragbag of styles. MrsRobster reckoned the drummer looked like Professor Brian Cox, one guitarist resembled Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, the other guitarist like Paul Weller (circa early-Jam) and the keyboardist like a young Morticia Adams. Harsh maybe, but I take her point.

Thirdly, this wasn't their audience. Despite a number of middle-aged ex-shoegazers being in attendance, they couldn't really be appreciated by the majority, many of whom probably wouldn't know what shoegazing was, and no doubt tune into Jools Holland religiously every week. Add to all that the sound mix not quite working to their advantage and you have to concede that sadly, Perfect Body didn't win many over. A shame. I'd like to see them in a better place to make a sounder judgement, especially as they have been very hotly-tipped round these parts.

As for the PSB boys - well I can't really add anything I haven't already told you before. This was, after all, the third time we've seen them during the 'Every Valley' period (the sixth in total) and they were, as always, exceptional. They did do a couple of songs we've not seen them do before, including the new Titanic-themed single White Star Liner. The funky brass section and dancing spacemen were present and correct, and the films were breathtaking as always. My personal highlight was - not for the first time - All Out, with scenes of the miners' strike and the police brutality that accompanied it being soundtracked by loud, aggressive, angry guitars.

TheMadster enjoyed it as I thought she would (the pics here, by the way, are hers). TheEmster? Well he's more of an EDM fan, still in mourning over the passing of his hero Avicii. However, he genuinely enjoyed the experience, the allure of PSB's unique live shows taking hold of him. Maybe there's a proper music fan in there somewhere, but perhaps - for now at least - I'll hold back on asking if he wants to come and see Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs with me next spring...

1 comment:

  1. As I probably comment every time you feature PSB - I must get to see these guys one day. As far as I'm aware, they've only ventured out to my neck of the woods once and I was otherwise engaged that evening. Next time, next time. I'd dearly love to experience the fearsome racket that is Pigs x7 too.