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NEWS: Polite Bureaux shares ‘Vegan Bacon’

Vital, skilled, talented, and whip smart, Brighton based broken- beat-makers Polite Bureaux have been making waves at their high-energy live shows and on BBC Radio 6. Formed by Joe Smith and joined on stage by his blood sister Maya Lili and Raver Viv Maher, the band buzz with  righteous kinetic energy and razor sharp political commentary. London born, Bradford formed, Joe uses bass lines and beats with alt-electronic production, reflecting the diabolical truths of John Cooper Clarke. This week they released the first half of their double A-side single ‘Vegan Bacon‘ with the second half ‘Scratchcard’ due on 28th Feb.

‘Scratchcard ‘has already been played on BBC Radio 6 Music as part of their New Music Fix by Deb Grant and Tom Ravenscroft, with Deb saying, “I’m really enjoying that one. I’m enjoying the cut of their jib,” while Melita Denitt played them on BBC Introducing yesterday. They were handpicked for the Sound of 2024 at GIITTV and are the prescient voice of our times.

The double A side gives a taste of their upcoming album Cunt Monday, due for release on 14th March. Polite Bureaux said it’s about “How a bunch of C words became the subject of our debut album. It’s about how Britain is not only broke, it’s broken.”   

Expect brutal honesty and searingly witty, smart insights into modern society. Stories include social antics that could only be made in broke Britain. Polite Bureaux described their latest track by saying,

‘Vegan Bacon’ is a story about Kermit the Frog living in a budget hotel after consciously uncoupling with Piggy Lee and meeting a brunette called Denise. He’s been living in a Travelodge for the past 4 months, is the bass guitarist in a band playing toilet venue gigs for 50 quid a pop and things are now on the rocks with Denise…

Behind the humour are some deep universal truths and quality sonics.

Opening with a mesmerising loop of synthesized riffs, reminiscent of a retro arcade game, Polite Bureaux’s resonant voice slants into the riffs as he creates a world of his own with dark wit; the rhyme and rhythm of the lyrics creating its own music as he describes Kermit, “No Longer getting jiggy with Miss Piggy.” The sense of place is there in precise technicolour detail describing them being “half way down the stairs, listening to council house affairs through paper thin walls.” With the driving onomatopoeic energy of “karate chop, hi -ya” as a repeated refrain, the syllables create the sonic imagery driving the track forwards. The juxtaposition of the dark, witty and atmospheric spoken word lyrics with the upbeat synths is an offbeat work of art and mirror to the modern world.

With a family history of Irish and Filipino Malay roots, the siblings in Polite Bureaux spent their youth across the country. Strong family unity is what elevates Polite Bureaux from the crowd, with words that hit home. The offspring of a wordsmith and poet, much of the upcoming album is inspired by a string of comical poems and stories by Robert Smith, delivered with charisma, drive and authenticity by the the lead singer and band. Dyslexic frontman Joe’s delivery of the poetry is used as power and pride to break stigma through performance.

Polite Bureaux have supported Benefits, been played on BBC Introducing as well as at The Great Escape. Expect brutal honesty and a true energy in Joe’s venting on stage and in your ears. It’s always more than just a play on words.

Speaking of their upcoming album, Cunt Monday, Polite Bureaux said,

‘Except Your Skint’ was meant to be the debut album. We had recorded two tracks; ‘Except Your Skint’ and ‘Bradford ‘ for the album, but we came up with the idea to write Cunt Monday first as a more electronic album and then go deeper.

Except Your Skint had been written for two years, around the experience of universal credit and dealing with a work coach called Colin. The Cunt Monday Album was in fact an idea taken from Damon Albarn who wrote ‘Clint Eastwood’ on an omnichord straight from the ‘Rock 1’ setting. Our entire CM Debut Album is written on a Pocket Operator which resembles a calculator, so as far as we know it is the first Album in the world to be written entirely on a Pocket Operator from a company called Teenage Engineering- So it’s the First ever pocket operator album”

Polite Bureaux are touring with Meryl Streek (see dates below) and are currently on the look out for festivals dates to bring their high energy new sound. Their debut album Cunt Monday is out on March 14th 2024.

Live Dates supporting Meryl Streek


24th: The Craufurd Arms, Milton Keynes

25th: Bedford Esquires, Bedford

27th: The Joiners, Southampton

28th: The Green Door Store, Brighton

29th: The George Tavern, East London

Follow Polite Bureaux here:

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God is in the TV is an online music and culture fanzine founded in Cardiff by the editor Bill Cummings in 2003. GIITTV Bill has developed the site with the aid of a team of sub-editors and writers from across Britain, covering a wide range of music from unsigned and independent artists to major releases.