People Will Always Need Coal

Album: Every Valley (2017)
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Songfacts®:

  • 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 HMV.com:

    "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."

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