Field Music LIVE

Barely filling half the seats in the smallest theatre in the Art Centre, Field Music put on a relentless performance of songs old and new that brought as much astonishment as joy at the professionalism of this Mercury nominated band.

Composed of core band members brothers David and Peter Brewis alongside rotating touring band members, Field Music have been around a fair while. Originally formed in 2004 they have managed to release four albums plus two albums by each brother in side-projects during the band’s two-year hiatus in 2007 to 2009. Their fourth album, _Plumb_, marks their first Mercury Prize nomination and their recently completed tour caps off their promotional duties prior to the ceremony on November 1st.

The band were on top form the night they played the Arts Centre, refusing to take much in the way of breaks and only occasionally stopping for banter, Field Music managed to sweep through eighteen songs alongside a two-song encore – and all in the space of approximately 70-minutes. Of course, it’s not just quantity but quality when it comes to a prized gig of modern rock and roll and the Brewis boys and company clearly had that in spades.

Kicking the gig off with the opening track – ‘Start The Day Right’ -from their most recent album, they launched into a rendition of ‘Rockist’ from David Brewis’ solo project School of Language. These were quickly followed by slices of songs from second album _Tones of Town_ (‘In Context’, ‘A Gap Has Appeared’), third album _Measure_ (‘Let’s Write A Book’, ‘Them That Do Nothing’), and a few flashes of the self-titled first album, _If Only The Moon Were Up_.

The band set a blistering pace that was incredible to watch and must have been tiring. Showmen that they were, Field Music never showed a hint of fatigue but a hefty dose of good spirit, smiles, a moment of banter, and kudos. It was particularly fun to see the Brewis brothers’ frantically swapping instruments to leap immediately into the next song – from drums to guitars to keys. Like a well oiled machine, as soon as one brother finished their part of the current song they would be up and tuning the next instrument, preparing to play the first few bars of the next crowd-pleasing piece of alternative rock. With any possible chance of silence extinguished by the prize efforts of touring band members Andrew Lowther and Kev Dosdale on guitar and bass guitar who would add a bridge or two to assuredly reach the next track.

Throughout the gig the cheers and applause from the modest crowd in the room grew in intensity, more than compensating for the empty seats and at the end it was near deafening. To use the old cliché “you had to have been there” aptly captures the night.


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