Review: Public Service Broadcasting, The Leopard, Doncaster

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GREAT ideas regularly leave the observer to marvel at their simplicity and wondering why no one thought of them before.

So it is with Public Service Broadcasting, the duo who meld driving rhythms, intricate beats and soaring melodies with clever samples.

Their most prominent offerings lifted passages from the idiosyncratic public-information films of the 1940s, a time when Britain’s upper lip was at its stiffest. Imagine Kenneth More meets Kraftwerk, with a veneer of slashing guitar.

Krautrock comparisons are simplistic, although Spitfire, from their 2012 release The War Room ep, does pay homage to Teutonic musical maestro Michael Rother. PSB’s more recent work moves them on a pace, as material from their forthcoming album is showcased and the set closes with a recent piece acknowledging the first conquest of Mount Everest.

Appropriate footage is screened to accompany each composition, creating a true multimedia experience bereft of live vocals or human announcements.

They fly by the seat of their pants, as though the whole thing is held together by a rubber band, a kind of hi-tech Heath Robinson. And presentation is slightly nerdy, in a horn-rimmed, bow-tie sort of way.

PSB play The Leadmill in May, which will be a good time to see them, for bigger gigs will surely follow. A late-afternoon festival slot would be appropriate, for the promoter bold enough to book them.