Public Service Broadcasting: “It’s tiring, always stretching for something just out of reach… But I’ll get it. After all, what I want isn’t as easy as all that” – Swedish American Hall in SF (Sept 24, 2017)

Written by Erica Andreozzi

The last time I saw PUBLIC SERVICE BROADCASTING was at a 2,00 capacity venue in London about 3 years ago, and so it was pretty surreal to watch them perform only a foot in front of me in an intimate venue like Swedish American Hall AND to meet them afterwards (very nice guys!). I had a friend joining me for the shows and struggled in trying to describe their sound, as they really are in a category of their own. PBS’s J. Willgoose Esq. (guitar, banjo, samples), Wrigglesworth (drums, piano), and J F Abraham (flugelhorn, bass guitar, drums) together play live instruments in combination with samples from old public information films, archive footage and propaganda material that attempt to “teach the lessons of the past through the music of the future.” With a passion to “inform, education, and entertain” (listed to their song called ‘Theme from PSB’), PSB have consistently put out albums that do just that, and their recent albums (released July 2017) depicts the history of the mining industry in Wales. J Willgoose, Esq., described the album’s premise as an allegory for today’s “abandoned and neglected communities across the western world”, which have led to a “malignant, cynical and calculating brand of politics.” They also included a track (‘They Gave Me a Lamp’) to raise political awareness of a generation where women “seemed to realize, suddenly, the power and the potential that they had… It’s a song of gender barriers being broken down, of a group of people finding their voice, of the power of protest and its importance in a democratic society. Given what we’ve seen on both sides of the Atlantic in recent years, I don’t think there’s ever been a better time to be making such a strong case in defense of those ideas.” HELL YES. The last verse with collaborative vocals by the super-talented UK female trio, Haiku Salut (who coincidentally I discovered the same year as PSB at Green Man Festival), gives me chills every time: “I’ve been in front, I have never give in, I have never sat back, and I have never refused anybody, and I am very proud of it, and I’ll be proud to look back on it.” Cheers to a band pushing the envelope on both creativity and awareness. My favorite PBS tracks are: Spitefire, ROYGBIV, Theme from PBS, The Pit, They Gave me a Lamp, If War Should Come, and New Dimensions in Sound (exactly what they are creating!) ❤

*Check out more videos on my YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/eandreoz

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Twitter: @beatsthatsetmy

Bear’s Den: “I didn’t know when I started runnin’…I’d be runnin’ my whole life.”

Bear’s Den– Nice N’ Sleazys, Glasgow

(Feb 10, 2013)

I first saw this London-based indie/folk trio (Andrew Davie, Kev Jones, Joey Haynes) with my friend Mairi at a popular, tiny venue in Glasgow called Nice N’ Sleazy’s. We we pretty much ON STAGE for that gig (super close up), and simply mesmerized by their beautiful folk ballads, especially Bad BloodPompeiiA Year Ago Today, and Don’t Let the Sun Steal Your Heart Away. When I first heard Bad Blood that night, I knew it would become one of those few (and very powerful) LIFE ANTHEMS that I would revisit on a regular basis. An then to later hear a stripped down reincarnation of it at the Village Underground (see video below) with no amps or mics was pure divinity. Brutally honest lyrics that I can remember always remember in a heartbeat: “Forgive me for I am not acting myself, I’m just trying to rid all this bad blood. All this baaaaad blood.” 

It was at this Glasgow gig that I first met the Bear’s Den drummer, Kevin Jones, who also happens to be the founder of the record label and music community Communion (along with Ben Lovett of Mumford and Sons). I saw him again at their next London gig (St. Stephen’s Church) a month later and ended up sitting next to his cousin! Haha. It really is a small world when you consider the loyal fan base of many UK bred bands. 

I later went on to see Bear’s Den SIX more times, my favorite gig being the one at Village Underground. This was right after the release of their new EP, ‘Sahara,’ and  the title track was my anthem for a good month. Sooooooo freaking good. Opening as a slow, mournful ballad, this song suddenly breaks out into a joyful, folk-drive shuffle that oozes all sorts of empowerment. YES. Hands down my favorite track on the new Bear’s Den EP, ‘Without/Within.’

“All of my life
I wasn’t honest enough
and I thought I would never get over you.
I’ll never get over you.

You said that I’d always feel alone
Well it’s the life that I chose
You said I could never be happy with anyone
Well I found looooove. 
I found looooooove.”

I saw this gig was my friend Belle, another music junkie who had first spotted the incredible talent of Andrew Davie when he was the frontman for a Cherbourg in 2010. Again, SMALL WORLD! Good music doesn’t just come and go. It sneaks back up on you with a vengeance! 😉

Here are some of my favorite Bear’s Den lyrics that still slay (or claw) me:

“Sever the ties, Cut me up. Fill up the hole that I tried and I tried and I tried to fill.         
Forgive me for I am not acting myself, but these B’s in my breath have to come out…
I’m just trying to drain all this bad blood. All this baaaaad blood.”   (soooo good)
*

“Don’t let the sun steal you away,
Don’t let your mind speak louder than your heart.”  –Don’t Let the Sun Steal Your Heart Away

*

“I didn’t know when I started runnin’
I’d be runnin’ my whole life.”  –Sophie
(very relevant to my  nomadic postdoc life right now)

*

Check out the live videos and pictures of the SEVEN  (insane, I know) Bear’s Den gigs I’ve seen (Nice N’ Sleazys, St. Stephen’s Church, Great Escape, Bushstock, Village Underground, Green Man, Electric Brixton). You need to see these BEARS then they come GROWLIN’ INTO YOUR TOWN. 🙂

 VIDEOS:

Brother:

Hard Life:

Stubborn Beast:

Pompeii:

Don’t Let the Sun Steal Your Heat Away:

Isaac:

The Writing’s On The Wall:

PICTURES:

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Bear’s Den– St. Stephen’s Church, London (March 20, 2013)

 VIDEOS:

Bad Blood:

 PICTURES:

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Getting myself in the BEAR DEN.  😉

Bear’s Den– Great Escape (May 18, 2013)

 VIDEOS:

Bad Blood:

PICTURES:

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Bear’s Den– Bushstock (June 1, 2013)

 VIDEOS:

Davy (new song?):

PICTURES:

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Bear’s Den– Green Man (May 18, 2013)

Motherhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jqn-wG2-fIg

Isaachttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qypTDZGHvSU

Bad Bloodhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lXdNJyQwUyM

PICTURES:

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Bear’s Den– Village Underground (Nov 6, 2013)

 VIDEOS:

Sophie:

Writings On The Wall:

Sahara II:

Bad Blood:

PICTURES:

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Bear’s Den– Brixton Electric (May 13, 2013)

 

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Kodaline- “I hope that I can say…When all my days are done…We were just having fun”

Kodaline– O2 Shepard’s Bush, London

(Nov 10, 2013)

It was one of the last nights at the Great Escape music festival in Brighton, and I has been encouraged by some others to go see an Irish indie/folk rock band by the name of Kodaline. I remember noticing their name pop up here and there on festival lineups and I figured I’d check out what the “hype” was all about. Plus, Little Green Cars (another Irish band I had been meaning to see) was playing on the same stage right before them, and I couldn’t pass up this double whammy. BOTH BANDS exceeded my expectations (see my page for Little Green Cars), and I remembered leaving that venue with even more respect for Irish musicians and their innate musical talents.

The first Kodaline song that had me stop dead in my tracks was ‘Pray,’ and although I didn’t get it on video, it was one of my favorites to later play over and over, as it had a bit of a Radiohead feel and these haunting, cyclical rhythms that just lock you in a trance. I also loved ‘All Comes Down To You‘ and ‘Love Like This,’ two songs that were new at the time and had not yet been released (see video below). The harmonica and mandolin in ‘Love Like This’ (my personal favorite) get me revved up, and the energy this track generates is mad contagious! Also, Steve’s belt at the end is EPIC.

Next in their set came the song (‘All I Want‘) that MADE THEM FAMOUS, and you could see WHY. Steve introduced this song by saying it was about his ex-girlfriend, and a dude in the audience ROARED “She’s A BEAST!” He assured everyone that she was not, but the audience could not help but laugh hysterically (including me). With lyrics like “Cause if I could see your face once more, I could die a happy man I’m sure” and “When you said your last goodbye, I died a little bit inside…I lay in tears in bed all night, alone without you by my side” you can’t help by feel your heart being ripped FOR STEVE, and you suddenly find yourself vehemently shouting out the chorus, as if you’ve been crushed by someone as well (and maybe you have):

“But if you loved me
Why’d you leave me?
Take my body
Take my body
All I want is,
And all I need is
To find somebody.
I’ll find somebody like you.”

My line that slays me the most in that song is: “So you brought out the best of me, a part of me I’ve never seen,” especially since most guys would never admit that a lady brought out the best in them. I love the build and raw intensity of this song, and the honest/vulnerable lyrics definitely dig the deep. In the category of heartbreak songs, this is one of the best new ones I’ve heard.

By the end of the set, my cheeks were permanently flushed. Kodaline has charm, talent, looks, AND an Irish accent. No wonder why they reel in a huge sea of young girls! This was much more obvious six months later when I saw them at a sold out O2 Shepard’s Bush Empire gig, and found it difficult to hear Steve voice over thousands of screaming girls. A much different atmosphere compared to the small, intimate crowd at the Great Escape, but I guess that’s what happens when bands BLOW UP.

As part of their encore at O2 Shepard’s Bush, Kodaline surprised us all when they  performed a cover of Sam Cooke‘s ‘Bring It On Home to Me,’  from the balcony of the crowd (see video below). Steve introduced this cover as one of their “old time favorite love songs.” It’s pretty impressive that they were able to silence and entire crowd of 2,000+ screaming fans to be heard without microphones. I’m seeing artists do this more and more and I LOVE IT. Keeps us fans on our toes! x

Other favorite songs: The Answer, All My Friends, High Hopes, Way Back When

VIDEOS:

 Bring It On Home (Sam Cooke cover):

PICTURES:

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Kodaline– The Great Escape, Brighton

(May 17, 2013)

VIDEOS:

All Comes Down to You:

Love Like This:

All I Want:

PICTURES:


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