Public Service Broadcasting (band)

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Public Service Broadcasting
Public Service Broadcasting at the National Space Centre (1).jpg
Public Service Broadcasting performing during their The Race for Space Tour in 2015.[a]
Background information
OriginLondon, England
GenresAlternative,[1] art rock, indie rock, electronica, dance-punk, krautrock[2]
Years active2009–present
LabelsTest Card Recordings, Believe Recordings, PIAS Recordings
  • J. Willgoose Esq.
  • Wrigglesworth
  • JF Abraham
  • Mr B

Public Service Broadcasting is a London-based musical group consisting of four musicians known mainly by their stage names: J. Willgoose, Esq. on guitar, banjo, other stringed instruments, samplings and electronic musical instruments; Wrigglesworth on drums, piano and electronic musical instruments; J F Abraham on flugelhorn, bass guitar, drums and assorted other instruments including a vibraslap; and Mr B on visuals and set design for live performances.[3][4] The band has toured internationally and in 2015 was announced as a nominee in the Vanguard breakthrough category of the fourth annual Progressive Music Awards, staged by Prog magazine,[5] which they won.[6]


At first, the band consisted solely of Willgoose. He made his public debut at The Selkirk pub in Tooting, London, England in August 2009. Shortly afterwards he issued EP One. Teaming up with Wrigglesworth on drums, the band played its first festival in September 2010, Aestival in Suffolk, and work began on a second EP, The War Room, which was released in May 2012. Since then, the band has released four albums, Inform-Educate-Entertain (2013); The Race for Space (2015); Every Valley (2017); and Bright Magic (2021). The Race for Space was supported by two shows at the National Space Centre in Leicester celebrating the album's launch. The album charted just outside the top 10 in 11th place in the UK in its release week and reaching Number 1 in the UK Independent Charts for that week. A follow-up EP was released at the tail end of 2015 (Sputnik/Korolev) which was backed up by a UK tour, climaxing in the band's biggest headline show, a sold-out night at the O2 Academy Brixton, of which a live album was released in 2016. While writing The War Room the band formed a close relationship with the British Film Institute, using their material during live shows.[7]

On 10 March 2017, PSB released a new single titled Progress featuring vocals from Tracyanne Campbell from Camera Obscura with photo shoots showing the band as a three-piece with new member JF Abraham featured on promotional photos. Their third studio album, entitled Every Valley, about the coal mining industry's rise and fall in the Welsh Valleys between the 1950s and 1980s, was released on 7 July 2017. As with The Race for Space, the band had two album launch concerts, this time in Ebbw Vale, where the LP was recorded.

In June 2018, PSB appeared at the BBC Music "Big Weekend", playing at the Titanic Quarter in Belfast. As part of this a series of four new pieces, based on the story of the RMS Titanic, was debuted. These tracks were released as the EP White Star Liner on 26 October 2018.

They performed a "specially commissioned new arrangement" of The Race for Space on 25 July 2019 in a late-night Prom, joined by London Contemporary Voices and the Multi-Story Orchestra, the performance being shown on BBC television the following night.[8]

In December 2020, Willgoose released ambient solo EP A Wonderful Hope under the name Late Night Final. This release on PIAS Recordings[9] is a record which featured soundscape artist Teddy Hunter on the track "The Human Touch".[10][11][12]

On 2 June 2021, PSB debuted the first single, called "People, Let’s Dance" from their fourth studio album "Bright Magic".[13]

On 30 August 2022, PSB played a specially commissioned, album length, piece for Prom 58 called 'This New Noise', with the BBC Symphony Orchestra at the Royal Albert Hall in London. It was commissioned to celebrate 100 years of the BBC. At the time of the performance the band said there were currently no plans to tour the piece, or to release it as a record - but they hinted that this may not be set in stone.

In January 2023 J. Willgoose Esq. created a creator site using the Patreon platform in order to share updates and content with fans. The first track released on this site was "Three Things", which was the first ever Public Service Broadcasting demo.[14]

Music style and live performances[edit]

The band mostly plays instrumental music; Willgoose has said that "singing is never going to work. I'm not going to be happy with it, I'm not going to be comfortable playing it to other people."[7] They take samples from old public information films, archive footage and propaganda material.[15] Despite Willgoose's prior reservations about singing, he did later contribute vocals to the duet piece "You + Me" from Every Valley, because the intended vocalist was not available.


Musical members

Non-musical members

Instruments and equipment[edit]

Type Details
  • Rickenbacker 330 [16]
  • Fender American Vintage 52 Telecaster [16]
  • Fidelity Stellarosa[17]
  • Fidelity Double Standard[17]
  • Orangutan 3 Monkeys Amplifier[16]
Synthesisers and digital equipment


Public Service Broadcasting discography
Studio albums4
Live albums1

Studio albums[edit]

Title Album details Peak chart positions Certifications
Inform-Educate-Entertain 21
The Race for Space
  • Released: 23 February 2015
  • Label: Test Card Recordings
  • Formats: CD, digital download, vinyl
11 25
Every Valley 4 83 [A] 3
Bright Magic
  • Released: 24 September 2021
  • Label: Play It Again Sam
  • Formats: CD, digital download, vinyl
2 53
"—" denotes a recording that did not chart or was not released in that territory.

Remix albums[edit]

Title Album details Peak chart positions
The Race for Space / Remixes
  • Released: 17 June 2016
  • Labels: Test Card Recordings
  • Formats: CD, digital download

Live albums[edit]

Title Album details Peak chart positions
Live at Brixton
  • Released: 2016
  • Labels: Test Card Recordings
  • Formats: CD, digital download, DVD, vinyl


Title EP details
EP One
  • Released: 7 August 2010
  • Labels: Test Card Recordings
  • Formats: CD, digital download, vinyl
The War Room (EP)
  • Released: 28 May 2012
  • Label: Test Card Recordings
  • Formats: CD, digital download, vinyl
Signal 30
  • Released: 15 April 2013
  • Label: Play It Again Sam
  • Formats: CD, digital download, vinyl
White Star Liner
  • Released: 26 October 2018
  • Label: Play It Again Sam
  • Formats: CD, digital download, vinyl


  • "ROYGBIV" – 5 March 2012[24] which won the BBC Radio 6 Music Rebel Playlist.[25]
  • "Spitfire" – 26 March 2012[26][27][28][29] which won the BBC Radio 6 Music Rebel Playlist.[30] The song sampled dialogue and sound from the 1942 film "The First of the Few", and the video incorporated footage from the same film.
  • "London Can Take It" – 13 August 2012[31][32]
  • "Everest" – 12 November 2012 only for digital downloading. The song is based around The Conquest of Everest, a 1953 film charting Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay's first successful ascent of the mountain.[33]
  • "Signal 30"[34]
  • "Night Mail"[35]
  • "Elfstedentocht" (Record Store Day single; 11 November 2013)[36][37]
  • "Gagarin" – 1 December 2014 (first single of the album "The Race For Space")
  • "Go!" – 23 February 2015
  • "Sputnik/Korolev" – 20 November 2015 No. 4 UK Physical[38]
  • "Progress" – 10 March 2017 (first single of the band's third album) [39]
  • "They Gave Me a Lamp"
  • "People Will Always Need Coal"
  • "White Star Liner"
  • "People, Let’s Dance" (feat. EERA)
  • "Blue Heaven"
  • "Lichtspiel III: Symphonie Diagonale"
  • "Der Rhythmus der Maschinen"

Online Releases[edit]

  • "Three Things" – 4 January 2023[40]
  • "Shy Guy" - 3 February 2023[41]


  1. ^ "Every Valley" did not enter the New Zealand Albums Chart, but peaked at number 2 on the New Zealand Heatseekers Albums Chart.


  1. ^ In this view of the band, taken on 26 February 2015, during the launch event for The Race for Space, J. Willgoose Esq., who performs on guitar and electronics, is pictured at right, and Wrigglesworth is pictured on drums at left. Live member JF Abraham is pictured at centre on bass guitar and electronics.


  1. ^ "Public Service Broadcasting". iTunes. Retrieved 8 July 2014.
  2. ^ "Public Service Broadcasting discography". RateYourMusic. Retrieved 28 October 2018.
  3. ^ a b Lester, Paul (12 December 2012). "New band of the week: Public Service Broadcasting". The Guardian.
  4. ^ a b "'Pretentious? We're just sticking a beat underneath satellite noises'". 15 February 2015.
  5. ^ Sherwin, Adam (25 June 2015). "Pink Floyd, Kate Bush, Public Service Broadcasting all nominated for Progressive Music Awards 2015". The Independent. Retrieved 5 July 2015.
  6. ^ "Singer Steven Wilson crowned prog rock king". BBC News. 4 September 2015. Retrieved 8 September 2015.
  7. ^ a b Sheffield, Hazel (6 February 2014). "Public Service Broadcasting keep calm and carry on". The Guardian.
  8. ^ BBC Proms 2019: Public Service Broadcasting. BBC Proms. 26 July 2019. Retrieved 3 August 2019. Cerys Matthews introduces cult London band Public Service Broadcasting who take to the Royal Albert Hall stage for their Proms debut. To mark the 50th anniversary of the first Apollo moon landings, they are joined by the Multi-Story Orchestra to perform a specially commissioned new orchestral arrangement of the band's 2015 studio album The Race for Space.
  9. ^ "Official Albums Chart Update Top 100 | Official Charts Company".
  10. ^ "The Drift Record Shop - Obsessed with new music".
  11. ^ "Late Night Final: Public Service Broadcasting's J. Willgoose Announces "A Wonderful Hope" LP + Shares "The Human Touch" ft. Teddy Hunter". 26 September 2020.
  12. ^ "ARTIST OF THE WEEK: No.311 - Late Night Final". Mystic Sons. 25 September 2020.
  13. ^ "Public Service Broadcasting return with new album Bright Magic | Louder". 2 June 2021. Retrieved 4 June 2021.
  14. ^ "J. Willgoose, Esq. / Public Service Broadcasting | Informing, educating and entertaining since 2009".
  15. ^ "Public Service Broadcasting + guests". Picture House Hackney. Retrieved 20 May 2012.
  16. ^ a b c "(en) J. Willgoose Esq". Guitars Exchange. Retrieved 16 February 2023.
  17. ^ a b "Fidelity Guitars". Fidelity Guitars. Retrieved 16 February 2023.
  18. ^ "Public Service Broadcasting's J Willgoose on his new lockdown record and making generative music". MusicTech. Retrieved 16 February 2023.
  19. ^ a b Musicpublished, Computer (6 October 2021). "Public Service Broadcasting: "I don't think we've had so much fun in the studio as the day we were just smashing stuff up"". MusicRadar. Retrieved 16 February 2023.
  20. ^ a b c "Public Service Broadcasting > UK Charts". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 2 October 2021.
  21. ^ a b "Certified Awards Search" (To access, enter the keywords "Public Service Broadcasting"). British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 22 October 2021.
  22. ^ "Official Scottish Albums Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 22 October 2021.
  23. ^ "IRMA – Irish Charts". Irish Recorded Music Association. Retrieved 2 October 2021.
  24. ^ "ROYGBIV". MusicBrainz. Retrieved 19 May 2012.
  25. ^ "Public Service Broadcasting win the BBC 6 Music Rebel Playlist!". Popular News. Archived from the original on 21 April 2013. Retrieved 19 May 2012.
  26. ^ "Public Service Broadcasting – Spitfire". Caffeine Nicotine. Retrieved 19 May 2012.
  27. ^ "Spitfire". MusicBrainz. Retrieved 19 May 2012.
  28. ^ "Public Service Broadcasting – Spitfire video". NME. 20 May 2012.
  29. ^ "Chris Hawkins: J.Willgoose interviewed about the making of the single Spitfire". BBC 6 Music programmes. Retrieved 20 May 2012.
  30. ^ "Public Service Broadcasting win Rebel Playlist at 6 followed by an addition to the main daytime playlist!". Popular News. Archived from the original on 2 June 2012. Retrieved 20 May 2012.
  31. ^ "Public Service Broadcasting 'London Can Take It' video". Access All Areas Music. 8 April 2012. Retrieved 4 August 2012.
  32. ^ "London Can Take It". MusicBrainz. Retrieved 4 August 2012.
  33. ^ PSBHQ (2 September 2012). "Public Service Broadcasting – Everest". YouTube.
  34. ^ "Single Announcement & Another Tour Poster". Public Service Broadcasting.
  35. ^ "Night Mail". Banquet Records. Retrieved 8 May 2015.
  36. ^ "Elfstedentocht Parts 1 & 2". Banquet Records. Archived from the original on 12 March 2016. Retrieved 8 May 2015.
  37. ^ "Elfstedentocht (Pt. 1 & 2) – Public Service Broadcasting". 11 November 2013. Retrieved 21 June 2016.
  38. ^ "Official Physical Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 28 October 2018.
  39. ^ "Public Service Broadcasting announce their return with 'Progress'". DIY. 9 March 2017. Retrieved 28 October 2018.
  40. ^ "The first ever PSB demo track". Patreon. Retrieved 4 January 2023.
  41. ^ "Early Demos, Continued...]". Patreon. Retrieved 3 February 2023.

External links[edit]