New Public Service Broadcasting album The Last Flight tells the story of Amelia Earhart's last doomed flight

Public Service Broadcasting
(Image credit: Alex Lake)

Conceptual pop proggers Public Service Broadcasting have announced that their brand new studio album, The Last Flight, will be based around the final doomed flight of pioneering female “aviatrix” Amelia Earhart.

The Last Flight is the band's first album since 2021's Berlin-based concept album Bright Magic and will be released through SO Recordings on October 4. The band have also shared the video for the first single from the album Electra, which you can watch below.

"The song is about Amelia Earhart's plane, the marvellously named Electra," explains J. Willgoose Esq. "To match the name, the vibrancy and the excitement of the aircraft, the track is full of pulsing electronics and interlocking, percussive melody lines, plus pace."

Aged 25, Earhart flew higher than any woman before her in 1922, and in the years that followed was the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, setting multiple speed and distance records. In 1937 Earhart announced that she would circumnavigate the globe in her Lockheed Model 10-E Electra aircraft. She crossed the Americas, Africa, the Middle East and Asia. She left Papua New Guinea to fly to Howland Island in the Central Pacific but never made it.

"I wanted to do a woman-focused story, because most of the archive we have access to is overwhelmingly male. I was initially drawn in by Earhart’s final fight, rather than the successes that she had, but the more I read the more I became fascinated by her. Her bravery and her aeronautical achievements were extraordinary, but her philosophy and the dignity that she had… she was an outstanding person. 

"The final flight is the spine of the journey: the story jumps off at different points, and examines different facets of her personality, her relationship with her husband, her attitude to flying, her attitude to existing. She gave herself, I think, less than a 50% chance of survival when she flew the Atlantic alone. To put yourself, willingly, in those situations… I think it says something about that drive at the heart of humanity.

"However The Last Flight isn’t doom-laden or covered in grief. There’s adventure, freedom, the joy of being alive. The reason why she wanted to fly was to find the beauty in living – ‘to know the reason why I’m alive, and to feel that every minute.’ The flight did fail, but she was right. Of all the people we’ve written about, I have the deepest respect and admiration for her."

Unlike previous PSB albums, The Last Flight does not feature does not feature original first-person testimony, but dialogue newly recorded by actors, including Kate Graham who read Amelia. The band used Earhart’s own writings including 1937’s Last Flight and her biography East To The Dawn by Susan Butler, as source material.

The Last Flight was recorded in the band’s southeast London studio, while strings with the London Contemporary Orchestra were recorded at The Church in north London. Guests on the album include Carl Broemel from My Morning Jacket, Berlin voices Andreya Casablanca and EERA who both appeared on Bright Magic, as well as This Is The Kit’s Kate Stables.

The Prog Award-winning quartet will tour the UK and Europe throughout October and November (see all dates below) and will also open for Manic Street Preachers at Trentham Live on August 22.

They have also announced a series of Instore / Outstore appearances for the album release week in early October. They will appear at:

Oct 4: Leeds, Crash - daytime - Store - signing only
Oct 4: Manchester, Piccadilly - evening - Outstore at Night & Day
Oct 5: Liverpool, Jacaranda - evening - Outstore at The Baltic
Oct 6: UK, Southampton, Vinilo - evening - Outstore at The Brook 
Oct 7: UK, Bristol, Rough Trade - evening - Outstore at Strange Brew
Oct 8: UK, Kingston, Banquet - evening - Outstore at Pryzm

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Pre-order The Last Flight.

Public Service Broadcasting - Electra - YouTube Public Service Broadcasting - Electra - YouTube
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Public Service Broadcasting

(Image credit: So Records)

Public Service Broadcasting European and UK tour 2024

Oct 11: IRE Cork Cyprus Avenue 
Oct 12: UK Belfast The Telegraph Building 
Oct 13: IRE Dublin 3Olympia Theatre 
Oct 16: UK Glasgow Barrowland 
Oct 17: UK Aberdeen Music Hall Aberdeen 
Oct 18: UK Manchester Albert Hall 
Oct 19: UK Leeds O2 Academy Leeds 
Oct 21: UK Gateshead The Glasshouse International Centre for Music 
Oct 22: UK Nottingham Rock City 
Oct 24: UK Coventry Warwick Arts Centre 
Oct 25: UK Cambridge Corn Exchange 
Oct 26: UK Bristol Bristol Beacon 
Oct 28: UK Cardiff Cardiff University, Great Hall 
Oct 29: UK London Roundhouse 
Oct 30: UK Brighton Brighton Dome 
Oct 31: UK Aylesbury Friars Aylesbury at The Waterside Theatre 
Nov 10: NED Amsterdam Melkweg (Oude Zaal) 
Nov 11: BEL Brussels Ancienne Belgique Club 
Nov 12: GER Cologne Gebäude 9 
Nov 13: NED Groningen Vera 
Nov 14: GER Hamburg Knust 
Nov 16: NOR Oslo Blå 
Nov 17: SWE Stockholm Kägelbanan 
Nov 18: DEN Copenhagen Vega
Nov 19: GER Berlin Columbia Theatre 
Nov 20: GER Munich Ampere 
Nov 21: SWI Zurich Mascotte 
Nov 23: ITA Milan Arci Bellezza  
Nov 25: SPA Barcelona La Nau 
Nov 26: SPA Madrid Sala Copérnico  
Nov 27: SPA San Sebastian Dabadaba Club 
Nov 29: FRA ParisPetit Bain 

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Jerry Ewing

Writer and broadcaster Jerry Ewing is the Editor of Prog Magazine which he founded for Future Publishing in 2009. He grew up in Sydney and began his writing career in London for Metal Forces magazine in 1989. He has since written for Metal Hammer, Maxim, Vox, Stuff and Bizarre magazines, among others. He created and edited Classic Rock Magazine for Dennis Publishing in 1998 and is the author of a variety of books on both music and sport, including Wonderous Stories; A Journey Through The Landscape Of Progressive Rock.