Monday, November 28, 2016

Lieutenant-Commander Thomas Woodrooffe is "All lit up" for Public Service Broadcasting



Last week I went to see the band Public Service Broadcasting play at the Islington Assembly Halls and it was of course brilliant.

If you don't know them, their approach is to take an old news reel and commentary and use that as the basis of an electronica track. This means that lead, J. Willgoose, Esq, doesn't have to sing and he also manages to avoid speaking, using pre-prepared phrases triggered by keyboard (apart, famously, from that Brixton gig).

Topics are often geek-friendly, including trains (Night Mail), planes (Spitfire) and spaceships (The Race for Space). It's all great stuff, and I've seen them three times.

In their Inform-Educate-Entertain album one track is called Lit up and the video (above) include various clips from life at sea overlaid by the commentary for the 1937 review of the fleet at Spithead.

This commentary was given by Lieutenant-Commander Thomas Woodrooffe, broadcast live over the BBC.

Alas the Lieutenant-Commander was more than a little "lit up" himself, having been entertained by Royal Navy colleagues with "charged glasses of Seasickness Simulator" and as the rambling became incoherent the BBC had to pull the plug.

You can hear the original here.

They didn't play this track at Islington, though we did enjoy many others, including the singalong favourite, Go:

Given there are basically just the two words to remember you'd have to be pretty lit up to get this one wrong.

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