Striking out from the heart of London’s trendy Dalston, agit-pop punkers Public Speech put their words into action with the release of their debut album Publicity on their own P-SPEAK! label.
Fronted by singer and guitarist Joe Pollution, who’s joined by drummer Bill Austin and bassist Kevin Byrne, the band recorded the album at the end of 2010 at Reservoir Studios in North London. Raised on punk, like many an East End teenager, Joe served his time in the fabled Hackney hip-hop wars, under the banner of 3rd Rok, eventually resulting in 2007 in Small Whisper-Ins, an album of short, sharp observations on global dumbing-down and economic crisis.
Fast forward to now, and these same influences and impulses are brought to bear in Public Speech as the Hackney native goes back to his roots. A refreshing, cathartic mix of ’77 punk energy, whipsmart funk, pop hooks, hip-hop techniques and searing rock licks, the band’s sound provides the perfect base for Joe’s quickfire delivery, a witty and confrontational social commentary, equal parts Strummer, Dury and Ice Cube.
Roadtested in the unfashionable divebars of Dalston and Camden, and on a brief expeditionary foray to the Netherlands, Publicity follows April’s download single ‘Queen’s Speech’, the band’s toast to the Royal Couple on the event of their nuptials. The video for the single has already brought them unwanted attention from London’s finest on duty outside Buck House. Having gained considerable press and airplay, the band now look forward to annoying many more with their debut album. You have been warned.
“We don’t like your negative and offensive attitude.” The Sun
28 July Proud Gallery (SAUK Label Launch), Camden, London NW1
21 Aug Supernormal Festival, Braziers Park, Oxfordshire