People Will Always Need Coal

Album: Every Valley (2017)
Play Video


  • For Public Service Broadcasting's third album, the trio decided to depict the history of the mining industry in South Wales. More specifically they chronicled the rise and decline of the country's coal industry, highlighting its effects on the lives of ordinary people who persist against great odds. Frontman J Willgoose Esq explained to

    "It kind of tells the story of when mining was a very proud industry, a very successful industry and a very lucrative one – maybe not for the people working down the mines, but in terms of fuelling the economy. So it goes from there up to the present day really - just the other week we had our first coal-free energy generation day in something like 130 years. But it's not necessarily just about the industry, it's more about community and what happens to communities when they're reliant on a particular industry, and that industry just sort of vanishes or is killed off."
  • This song is set a decade before the nationwide miners' strike of 1984-85, which decimated the UK coal industry. J Willgoose said:

    "There's a really quite savage irony to this track when viewed with the benefit of hindsight. Of a coal board with the confidence to assure people of safe, prosperous jobs in a strong and stable industry when they were only ten years away from the largest industrial confrontation of the UK's last 50 years and the decimation of careers, communities and livelihoods."


Be the first to comment...

Editor's Picks

Michael Glabicki of Rusted Root

Michael Glabicki of Rusted RootSongwriter Interviews

Michael tells the story of "Send Me On My Way," and explains why some of the words in the song don't have a literal meaning.

Bands Named After Real People (Who Aren't In The Band)

Bands Named After Real People (Who Aren't In The Band)Song Writing

How a gym teacher, a janitor, and a junkie became part of some very famous band names.

John Waite

John WaiteSongwriter Interviews

"Missing You" was a spontaneous outpouring of emotion triggered by a phone call. John tells that story and explains what MTV meant to his career.

Glen Ballard

Glen BallardSongwriter Interviews

Glen Ballard talks about co-writing and producing Alanis Morissette's Jagged Little Pill album, and his work with Dave Matthews, Aerosmith and Annie Lennox.

Matthew Wilder - "Break My Stride"

Matthew Wilder - "Break My Stride"They're Playing My Song

Wilder's hit "Break My Stride" had an unlikely inspiration: a famous record mogul who rejected it.

Stand By Me: The Perfect Song-Movie Combination

Stand By Me: The Perfect Song-Movie CombinationSong Writing

In 1986, a Stephen King novella was made into a movie, with a classic song serving as title, soundtrack and tone.