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Home > September 2018 > Interview with Public Service Broadcasting
Interview with Public Service Broadcasting
Posted: 9/7/2018 11:41:45 AM

Britain's Public Service Broadcasting are returning to the Intrepid for this year's Space & Science Festival! We caught up with the band for an interview to see what they have been up to since their last show at the museum.

Q What have you been up to since your 2016 Space and Science Festival performance?
A We wrote, recorded and released our third album, called Every Valley. It's a very different album to The Race For Space in terms of subject matter, as it deals with the industrial heritage of the UK and, more specifically, coal mining and the communities that worked down the pits. We've been busily touring that album as well as writing some new music for the BBC about the Titanic, which we performed earlier this year on the Slipways in Belfast where she was built. That was quite an experience.
Q What are you most looking forward to during this September's visit to NYC?
A New York City is just such a great and exciting place to visit at any time, with such an incredible energy to it, so it's a pleasure to be there, but obviously we're looking forward to the show the most and the chance to play in such an unusual and interesting location - again!
Q What do you enjoy most about performing in NYC?
A New York is a very outgoing, vocal place and the crowds we've had at previous gigs tend to reflect that - they've been very warm and welcoming, and a little bit rowdy too, which is no bad thing in our book!
Q You sample old public information films, archive footage and propaganda material in your music. How do you decide what footage to include?
A I do a lot of research first to decide which particular topics or subjects or stories to cover, and then the search for material really begins. With Apollo 11 for example I knew I wanted to cover it on The Race For Space - I couldn't not - but I also didn't want to just re-use and recycle the most well-known parts of the mission. I was trawling through the NASA Audio Collection and found the Go / No Go calls on one of the Apollo 11 highlights reels and it was just obvious - I don't really choose the samples, they choose themselves normally through their strength and relevance to the story at hand. Then it was a case of using the Apollo Flight Journal transcripts to locate the audio I was after to re-tell the initial descent and landing on the moon from the point of view of mission control, and trying to capture some of the excitement of the time.
Q With civilian space travel becoming more mainstream, would you ever want to perform in outer space?
A Well, leaving aside the (strong) relative unlikelihood of this ever happening, I think if I were ever to be offered the opportunity I would have to say yes, although I'd be absolutely terrified. I'm not sure how well drumming in zero G (or microgravity, if we want to be pedantic) would work though - Wrigglesworth might have a hard time not bouncing off the walls every time he hits a drum! Still, I've long been in favour of some kind of manacling / shackling system for him, so maybe it'd work out after all.
Q Do you have a favorite story about space exploration?
A Too many to mention - the drama of Leonov's first spacewalk, Gagarin's mission, Apollos 8 and 11 among them - but one of my favourite moments is a good example of Neil Armstrong's famously dry wit, as well as the alien nature of flying in space: as they separated the lunar module from the main vessel, Mike Collins told him 'you've got a fine looking flying machine there, Eagle, despite the fact you're upside down', to which Armstrong replied: 'Somebody's upside-down.' I don't know why that tickles me so, but it does.

Join us for a special performance during the Space & Science Festival.
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