The Space Race marked an unparalleled period of exploration and technological advance for mankind.
But curiously it all now seems rather antiquated and the time is dusted with nostalgia.
However Public Service Broadcasting have taken a fresh look at the 15 years from 1957 to 1972, using archival footage and combining it with cutting edge music.
As PSB mainman J Willgoose, Esq, says: ‘It’s incredible when you think this was over 40 years ago. We put men on the moon and then stopped. It’s not often that we step backwards from an achievement in technology and it doesn’t get revisited.
‘The political expediency left I suppose. You need the right historical circumstances that fuelled this incredible period, when they had the reason and the excuse to spend the money on these kind of endeavours.
‘I think it’s an interesting example of how humanity pushed itself forward – how this creative thrust can come out of something intended for destruction.’
I think it’s an interesting example of how humanity pushed itself forward – how this creative thrust can come out of something intended for destructionJ Willgoose, Esq
The Race for Space takes us from the launch of Sputnik 1 through to the Afrobeat-with-balalaikas tribute to the first man in space, Gagarin, the Apollo 1 disaster, and the eventual moon landing.
After the success of 2013’s debut album Inform-Educate-Entertain, J says he already had an idea about where he wanted to go next: ‘I thought this would be an EP or mini-album, I never thought it would be a full-blown album but when I started working on it, it became eight tracks quite quickly and by then it’s an album.’
The new album was debuted at The National Space Centre in Leicester in February.
‘The live show is a bit of an evolution rather than a revolution – we’ve got a few more special bells and whistles,’ says J. ‘We have built our own LED Sputnik, and we’ve got a whole bunch of other visual effects. We also have a third member joining us on stage, JF Abraham who is playing a bit of brass, keys and percussion. It’s a bigger sound and a more musically involved show.
Support comes from Chichester’s Smoke Fairies, who appear on The Race for Space’s tribute to the first woman in space, Valentina Tereshkova. ‘The way they did it, they were quite brave,’ says J of their contribution. ‘I would find it terrifying to go into a studio and do what they did.
‘They definitely pushed the song in a direction it wouldn’t have otherwise gone in.’
They play at The Pyramids Centre tonight, doors 7pm. Tickets £19.25. Go to bhlivetickets.co.uk