Posted in music | pictures on February 2, 2010

words & photos by Benjamin Lozovsky

Field Music
Field Music

The members of Field Music really wanted to play a gig in the US; so much in fact, that they had a one-off show at The Bell House Saturday (1/30), flying in early that morning and returning to England shortly after their performance. It was more than enough time to make their mark.

The date came after the band canceled performances in New York City and Chicago late in 2009 due to illness, and this occasion was far from ideal circumstances as well. But even with jetlag, horse throats and only a handful of rehearsals together as a new line up under their belts, Field Music played with inspiration and intrepid musical awareness.

Founding member Peter Brewis wasn't sure after the show whether the band sounded fully meshed yet, but as he and brother David calmly swapped out handling guitars and drums throughout then night, they demonstrated their confidence as leaders of a rapidly congealing group. New bassist Ian Black and multi-instrumentalist Kev Dosdale followed the Brewis' assured approach as the group tackled many new numbers from the band's revelatory, soon-to-be-released new album, Field Music (Measure). Powerful songs like "All You Ever Need To Say," and "Clear Water" added darkness and grit to the intelligence and grace that categorized their previous output. "I think we were listening to a lot of Led Zeppelin," said Peter, speaking of the recording of Field Music (Measure).

The Zeppelin flavor was most evident in the sparse but loudly punctuated drumming that frames many of their new creations. But other harder-edged influences abounded, sitting well with the more artsy inspiration they take from bands like Television and Steely Dan. Basically they've added some balls to their brainy youthfulness.

Speaking of youth, openers The Mugs and The Spinto Band were also at their most juvenile this night, to the enjoyment of the crowd. They both cater in a bouncy kind of indie hodge-podge, and there was a lot of bouncing by the two bands during their respective sets. The Mugs brought out a bullhorn for one number, and The Spinto Band brandished kazoos and clanged lots of cowbell. There were good ideas brought forth by both, and each of the two groups played with enough heart to somewhat mitigate their poorly defined musical identities and moments of lackluster songwriting.

It's not easy to balance the adolescent hopefulness of such spirited music with the ability to act well above your age. Field Music seems to have just the right measure of both.

Field Music return in March while on tour with The Clientele. More pictures from the Bell House with Field Music's setlist, below...

The Muggs

The Muggs

The Muggs

The Muggs

The Muggs

The Muggs

The Muggs

The Muggs

The Spinto Band

The Spinto Band

The Spinto Band

The Spinto Band

The Spinto Band

The Spinto Band

The Spinto Band

The Spinto Band

The Spinto Band

The Spinto Band

The Spinto Band

Field Music

Field Music

Field Music

Field Music

Field Music

Field Music

Field Music

Field Music

Field Music

Field Music

Field Music

Field Music

Field Music

Field Music

Field Music

Field Music

Field Music

Field Music

Field Music

Field Music

Field Music

Field Music

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Comments (16)

Field Music was one of the best live bands i have seen in quite awhile. These guys deserve to be huge.

Posted by Anonymous | February 2, 2010 9:28 AM

hey Benjamin , Spinto Band are one of the best bands out there. you are way blind to see that.

"poorly defined musical identities"... are you joking? what kind of music do you listen to?

Posted by Harry Dalton | February 2, 2010 9:38 AM

did the spinto band just come from a Brooklyn Industries sponsored photo shoot?

Posted by Anonymous | February 2, 2010 9:45 AM

I think you mean "hoarse" throats. Great pics, though!

Posted by MB | February 2, 2010 10:03 AM

field music were flawless live. great show, great band, great new album.

Posted by Anonymous | February 2, 2010 10:33 AM

Agreed, 9:28. Field Music are one of the best live bands, true pros. It was great to see some of the School of Language tracks and a nice mix of all of their material. No Week That Was though.

Harry, I think "poorly defined musical identities" just means that they haven't really defined their own sound yet. I like the Spinto Band very much, but their songs are pretty standard indie rock/pop. I didn't really think they were particularly great that night. Lots of energy for sure, but with 3 guys strumming away at guitars, keyboards, and backup vocals, at times, it was just too loud with too much going on to really let the songs come through.

Posted by Andrew | February 2, 2010 10:40 AM

A writer who describes "arty influences" and uses Television and Steely Dan in the same sentence is really not in any position to be throwing stones about "poorly defined musical identities".

Posted by Anonymous | February 2, 2010 10:42 AM

Spinto Band never really did it for me on record, but I really enjoyed their set. It's a shame Gowanus is such a pain in the fucking ass to go to, because the Bell House almost never disappoints.

Posted by Anonymous | February 2, 2010 10:50 AM

@ 10:42am - im sorry...but ben knows his shit. and yes, im a friend of his.

if i was the type of person who would question someone's taste in music or art, i would question yours well before i'd question ben's.

Posted by Anonymous | February 2, 2010 1:08 PM

man, I just want to know what the hell is wrong with Television and Steely Dan?

pretty great influences, imo

Posted by Andrew | February 2, 2010 1:30 PM

If you don't understand how Television and Steely Dan are completely opposite musical influences, then you're pretty fucking ignorant about music as a whole.

Posted by Anonymous | February 2, 2010 2:01 PM

This guy takes better photos than prose.

This: It's not easy to balance the adolescent hopefulness of such spirited music with the ability to act well above your age.

Sounds like H.S. newspaper shit.

All 3 bands were pretty "on" that night, I vote.

Posted by Anonymous | February 2, 2010 3:19 PM

I Appreciate the enthusiasm, and original written content, but Ben is trying too hard with his writing. Let's keep the grammar simple and more to the point. It's not even that a guy isn't allowed to have an opinion, but let's save the overloaded sentence structure for your dissertation. It can be quite ridiculous. Good pictures though.

Posted by Anonymous | February 2, 2010 5:50 PM

At this show I found field music a little boring. spinto band was the highlight of the evening for me...sometimes it gets to be too much guitar but I love there song writing and live performances and think think they are undervalued.

Posted by Anonymous | February 2, 2010 10:33 PM

I love the Spinto Band...they have energy, intelligent song writing and incredible musical skill. You seem jealous...because the crowd seemed to love them the most!!!!

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