Live at Brudenell Social Club on Thursday, 25th February 2010
Field Music are completely out on their own, and have been for some years now. Their highly unique brand of prog-pop is totally unparalleled, and as four albums worth of material, along with two solo records has proven; the Brewis brothers are definitely not in it for any kind of lazy indie guitar offerings. In fact Field Music don't indulge in any image related malarkey. There are no stupid outfits, swagger or nauseating news about twitter updates; it's corny but they're just about the music. And it just so happens that these two self-effacing young men from Sunderland present probably one of the best bands in the world right now, and not many people know it.
Joined onstage by new additions; guitarist Kev Dosdale and bassist Ian Black, they're out to promote the new album: 'Field Music (Measure)'. They trundle onstage to the backing tape and launch into a run of three or four numbers, the Brewis' swapping between drum kit, guitar and piano; each with absolutely astonishing ability. Those that are familiar with some of the records will know the complexity of arrangements on their albums, which are replicated with virtuosity but are still unique to the live set. Intricate but never overblown or tedious, Field Music are dab hands at transcending the fret wank, while still leaving your jaw on the floor. Style wise, they're a bit like a synthesis of illustrious acts of the 70s and 80s; many dubious in their own right, i.e. Wings and Sparks. Yet the chaps work these into some fantastically original songs that are bang up to date; more than helped by the employment of some angular post-punkisms. Sounding completely modern with organic instrumentation as opposed to electronics is no mean feat, and Field Music achieve it.
The set list is fully comprehensive of their catalogue, although personally I'd like to have heard a couple from the second album, and that's where they might have fallen down with the fans not yet acquainted with the new one. Numbers such as 'Give It, Lose It, Take It', 'A House Is Not a Home' and 'If Only the Moon Were Up', sound as great as they ever did, and perhaps a little more rocky with the new members lending some umph. The new album boasts some great numbers that manage to ameliorate the dirty term we know as prog-rock. It could have been bombastic, but it's just great. Particularly 'Clear Water' and the latest single 'Them That Do Nothing'. A spot of David's 'School of Language' album appears, which is good but Peter's 'The Week That Was' was better. I guess that has now been put to bed after a fair bit of touring. A busy Brudenell is left wanting more after the encore, and that's how it should be. Thank goodness for Field Music.