First keynote speaker announced J. Willgoose Esq

The ARA Conference committee is delighted to announce the first keynotespeaker @ARA2019 – the Queens Hotel in Leeds: J. Willgoose, Esq., theinspiration behind the innovative art-rock band Public Service Broadcasting (PSB),will open Conference on the final morning, Friday 30 August.

The 2019 ARA Conference – 28-30 August - Leeds

First keynote speaker announced – J. Willgoose Esq.

Driving force behind innovative art-rock band Public Service Broadcasting

Focus: how our profession can inspire artists to create and audiences to relate

Register to attend Conference now at:


9 April 2019

The ARA Conference committee is delighted to announce the first keynote speaker #ARA2019 – the Queens Hotel in Leeds: J. Willgoose, Esq., the inspiration behind the innovative art-rock band Public Service Broadcasting (PSB), will open Conference on the final morning, Friday 30 August.

Education, space, mining and shipping

PSB has a global following and is best known for using archival and records material of all kinds to produce ground-breaking albums like ‘Inform-Educate-Entertain’ – based on public information film archives – and ‘The Race for Space’ – using records from NASA and the Soviet space programmes.

More recent releases, such as ‘Every Valley’ and ‘White Star Liner’, have focused on the coalfields of south Wales and the famous shipping company respectively, the latter with so many connections to the port cities of the UK and Ireland and (of course) to Belfast and the RMS Titanic.

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J. Willgoose, Esq. and the acclaimed White Star Liner EP and The Race for Space album      ©Public Service Broadcasting

London-based J. Willgoose, Esq., along with drumming companion Wrigglesworth and multi-instrumentalist JFAbraham, remains on a quest to inform, educate and entertain. PSB’s uniquely spell-binding live audio-visual transmissions see them weave samples from old public information films, archive footage and propaganda material around live drums, guitar, banjo and electronics as they teach the lessons of the past through the music of the future – beaming our past back at us through vintage tv sets and state of the art modern video projection devices.

Every Valley, for example, used archival material from the South Wales Miners’ Library at Swansea University and was recorded at the Ebbw Vale Institute. The band took audiences on a journey down the mineshafts of the south Wales valleys and into the communities themselves. Although Every Valley is the story of one industry in a time now removed from ours, the lessons for today in terms of what happens to a community when you remove an entire industry from it, could not be more relevant.

Our Profession

J. Willgoose, Esq. will open our final day of Conference, which focuses on ‘Our Profession’. Using examples of the band’s music and writing, he will offer creative, performance and other insights into how even routine or seemingly-mundane records can inspire or be woven into something bigger, to communicate ideas and connect with new audiences. He will also challenge us, as records professionals, to think differently about what we record, how we preserve/conserve it and how we make it accessible and promote it. The global themes of PSB’s work mean that there will be something for everyone in his keynote, across borders and cultures.

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Public Service Broadcasting – Every Valley                                  ©Public Service Broadcasting

After speaking at Conference, J. Willgoose, Esq. will head to the Moseley Folk and Arts Festival in the English West Midlands, where PSB will perform that evening. We are therefore delighted that he has been able to spare the time to join us in Leeds.

Between now and then, PSB will play at venues in London, Wales, Germany (among others), if ARA members would like to check them out live. To see more about PSB and/or see where the band is performing, visit: There is also a wealth of additional material about PSB online, for example on YouTube, TED and numerous interviews, etc.


Visit for full details of this year’s programme, venue, how to register to attend at ‘early-bird’ discount rates, and much more. Follow us on Twitter #ARA2019 and #ARAConf and soon on Instagram!


Mike Anson

Chair, ARA Conference committee