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Trish Keenan

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Patricia Anne Keenan a.k.a.Trish Keenan (1968 - 2011) was a British singer and songwriter for Broadcast, the cult band that she and her partner James Cargill formed in the West Midlands in the mid-1990s. Parts of Broadcast’s second album, Haha Sound (2003), were recorded in a church hall where Keenan had attended a jumble sale, and she applied a similar magpie-like approach to making music, searching the more obscure corners of pop culture to create something new, strange and evocative.

Although they occasionally wrote direct pop songs, Broadcast won critical acclaim by mixing together influences such as the primitive electronics of the BBC Radiophonic Workshop, 1970s public information films, Czech surrealism, Moog organ, forgotten film soundtracks and kitsch ephemera. At the centre of this process was Keenan, whose vision drove the group and whose voice could be variously haunting, mannered and heart-rending.

Born on 28 September 1968 in Winson Green, Birmingham, Keenan attended Archbishop Grimshaw Roman Catholic school. After school she worked in various catering jobs and at the age of 21 moved to the bohemian enclave of Moseley, forming a folk duo called Hayward Winters before she met Cargill at a 1960s psychedelic revival club in Birmingham.

The pair bonded over shared interests and formed a band, Pan Am Flight Bag, who played two gigs before they regrouped as Broadcast. One early inspiration was The United States of America, the cult hippy-era California group who strove to add avant-garde electronic experimentation to pop music, and whose sole album Keenan once described as a “bible”.

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