Categorized | Live Reviews

Field Music – Live at Audio (Brighton 26/05/10)

Posted on 20 September 2010 by Joe

Going to see Field Music at Brighton’s Audio filled me with mixed feelings. I was looking forward to seeing one of my favourite bands but I was a bit depressed and disappointed as well. The band had been moved to the venue (from the bigger Concorde 2) due to a lack of ticket sales. As I entered the near empty venue (30 minutes after the doors had opened) I had the same feeling I did after seeing Avatar. The feeling that I am out of step with almost everyone else, and that they are all wrong.

Avatar is a film that fails in almost every way, and yet critics and audiences alike seemed to love it. Field Music are one of the best bands in Britain today, and yet they can’t sell enough tickets at a mid sized venue for the gig to go ahead there.

The good news is that Audio was a much better venue to enjoy the band. The sound is good and you can get really close to the band. By the time the band took to the stage (after an enjoyable, if bizarre, set by Thomas White – him and his band looking like their mother’s had dressed them for a school play) the audience had filled out. And the audience and band alike were definitely up for a great gig.

The set mixed new songs and old and included tracks from the Brewis brothers solo albums, including a storming version of the School of Language favourite ‘Rockist’. I had worried that songs from the new album might miss the strings and lush instrumentation, but the live arrangements were pretty well flawless. ‘Them That Do Nothing’ being one of the standout tracks.

The brothers took turns to play drums, guitar, keyboards and sing. Peter mainly playing keyboards on his songs and David proving to be much more of an axe-man than the records might suggest. At times, as some songs took on some pretty funky arrangements he was reminiscent of a Stop Making Sense era David Byrne, tall and angular and just the right side of awkward.

Field Music are a band that are developing and moving forward without losing the elements that made Tones Of Town’ and the two solo albums so satisfying. The XTC influence is till at the forefront but a range of other influences are permeating their sound. Few bands could move as effortlessly from a short burst of new wave pop to an extended song, almost prog-rock.

The set ended all too quickly, the fun stopped by a 10pm curfew, but sometimes it is good to leave the venue wanting more. Field Music had proved that as well; as releasing one of the best albums of the year they are also one of the best live acts. Hopefully the rest of the country will wake up to them soon and they can get to play to the audiences they deserve.

9/10

By Dorian Rogers

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