Public Service Broadcasting @ The Foundry
It’s been a couple of years since J Willgoose esq and Wrigglesworth played in Sheffield. Back then they were riding off the unprecedented success of their first album, Inform-Educate-Entertain, which sampled old film soundtracks to which they added their rhythmic music. There was no real theme to the songs, other than harking back to a lost world only seen now in black and white documentaries, but their latest project has a definite theme: the race to put a man on the moon.
They’ve also expanded the band a bit. There’s now a bass player, and, along with drafting in the girls from the support band, the Smoke Fairies to add some vocals, they also use a live horn section on a couple of songs. Old favourites such as Everest and Spitfire were still on the set list, but the new tracks really shone, with the opening track, Sputnik almost stealing the entire show.
In the past the live versions of their songs have sometimes sounded a little too much like their recorded counterparts, but that has changed with their expanded line up. The track Go, which recreates the actual moon-landing neatly closed the set, as it was the culmination of the Apollo project, but the most exciting track of the evening was Gagarin, with a live horn section. It got a few folks dancing who I’d wager haven’t seen a dance floor since clubs were called discos.
In a startling piece of sartorial excess, which some of the audience struggled to comprehend, J Willgoose wore a shiny silver jacket for the encore! Not to worry though, he reassured us that underneath he was still wearing his corduroy trousers. Phew.