Field Music. Northern Stage. 3.2.18. Matinee


If they ever met, it’s likely that our older self would have plenty of advice to offer our younger self; what risks to take, what people to avoid and where to spend our time.  Looking backwards feels like an easy, enjoyable, activity
However would we be so open to a conversation if the tables were turned and we were offered advice from our younger self?  Potentially not.  Who wants to be asked difficult questions like ‘when did you stop taking risks’ or ‘when did you become so comfortable’?
A reluctance to take risks and experiment has long been the start of a death march for established bands. Comfortable, content and often misdirected by AOR record label types, experimenting with a ‘winning sound’ is often frowned on.
As music fans we should celebrate the risk takers; bands who look for new sounds and aren’t afraid to chase their creative instincts – even if it doesn’t hit the cultural zeitgeist.

Local champions ‘Field music’ certainly aren’t afraid to take risks, something new album ‘Open here’ and recent shows at Northern Stage have proved.
13 musicians strong, and recorded, their live show is a revelation.  Expertly designed as one long, interchangeable, block party the audience are treated to an almost inversion of Talking Heads masterful ‘Stop making sense’ show, though rather than new players joining gradually, the band dynamic changes regularly.  It’s a superb experimentation with instruments and sounds.

Using spiky guitars and African funk percussions as their weapons of discovery, the band keep the show upbeat and interesting as they set off in search of interesting sounds and performances. Highlights ‘The noisey days are over’ and ‘let’s write a book’ are art rock at its finest- intellectual lyrics, interesting soundscapes and brilliant head nodding hooks.  Tonight though it’s a step away from the norm, the risk, which really shines; ‘Find a way to keep me’,  a heartwarming mellow track, accompanied by Sgt Pepper Esque horns and an emotive video is spectacular. Tonight was recorded and is already up on Youtube to watch.  If the Fielders show this to their younger self, there will be no awkward questions.

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