The return of Field Music

Given how many press releases are about going through the same motions, it’s nice to get something a bit different for a new single (especially if it’s for a band that you like, as well). A couple of days ago, I was sent over the new Field Music single, and it’s a corker as you might expect.

The band’s new album is called Making A New World and it’s out on January 10. It’s a 19 track song cycle about the after-effects of the First World War. But this is not an album about war and it is not, in any traditional sense, an album about remembrance. There are songs here about air traffic control and gender reassignment surgery. There are songs about Tiananmen Square and about ultrasound. There are even songs about Becontree Housing Estate and about sanitary towels.

The first single is reminiscent of prime Talking Heads, ‘Only In A Man’s World’ is out today and it’s the track about sanitary pads.

In the words of the band’s David Brewis: ‘ I found myself researching the development of sanitary pads – not a statement I’ve ever imagined myself making – and was surprised at how little the advertising material has changed in a hundred years. It’s still, Hey Ladies! Let’s not mention it too loudly but here is the perfect product to keep you feeling normal WHILE THE DISGUSTING, DIRTY THING HAPPENS. And you realise that it’s a kind of madness that a monthly occurrence for billions of women – something absolutely necessary for the survival of humanity – is seen as shameful or dirty – and is taxed MORE than razor blades?!

At every stage of making this song, I had to ask myself, am I allowed to do this? Is it okay to do this? And I cringed in the next room when I first showed it to my wife. But I think confronting my own embarrassment is a pretty fundamental part of what the song is about.”

The band will be on tour in February 2020:

February 1 – Glasgow Kelvingrove Art Gallery

February 21 – Nottingham Recue Rooms

February 22 – Leeds Brudenell Social Club

February 27 – Whitley Bay Playhouse

February 28 – Manchester Dancehouse

February 29 – London EartH

Gig Review – Field Music/Laki Mera/Bwani Junction

Field Music/Laki Mera/Bwani Junction

HMV Picturehouse, Edinburgh, February 6.

Flying under the banner of HMV’s Next Big Thing, the night was to have featured a fourth act in The Dykeenies (who I did see about five years ago), but it transpires they have now split up. Pity.

The first band to get proceedings off to a flying start are local boys Bwani Junction. I’ve been hearing more and more good things about them for a while, and really enjoyed their debut album Fully Cocked, which was released towards the end of last year. I’m not going to make excuses about not having featured them here before – but I will be featuring them a lot more round these parts.

Bwani Junction have been compared to Vampire Weekend, and whilst there’s an element of that in there, the sense is that these boys have been listening not just to Graceland but to much of the music that comes out of Southern Africa. I once commented that the Bhundu Boys’ ‘Foolish Heart’ sounded like what Shoegazing would have done if it had originated in Zimbabwe and not the Home Counties of England. And watching these boys tonight I’m reminded of that again. They’ve been working on new stuff since the album came out – but they also treat us album tracks like ‘She Ain’t Saying No’ ‘Today’s Crusades’ and ‘She Ain’t Saying No’ and ‘Two Bridges.’ They are unbelievably young (the bass player, Fergus Robson, looks like he might have to go and finish his homework after the gig), but don’t let that put you off. If they can’t headline the HMV Picturehouse within a year, then it ain’t anything they’ve done wrong.

I enjoyed Laki Mera’s album The Proximity Effect last year, and Mogwai’s remix of their track ‘Crater’. They are a rather different proposition to Bwani Junction. Lead singer Laura donnelly has a voice to match Kate Bush, and a stage presence that evokes both Bjork and Florence Welch. The band scarcely engage the audience at all, though the atmospheric electronica works well.

Tonight’s headliners Field Music are now less than a week from releasing their new, fourth album, Plumb. They seem amused to be playing under THe Next Big Thing banner, pointing out that they have been around for a long time (in the absence of The Dykeenies set, I was talking to Bart Owl and Malcolm Benzie from 17 Seconds faves eagleowl, who supported them in Newcastle back in 2005).

The set is made up of old numbers like ‘Let’s Write A Book’ and songs from Plumb, like single ‘A New Town’which are well received. They’ve previously played at the much smaller Sneaky Pete’s in Edinburgh, and seem somewhat overwhelmed to be playing a venue this big. Not that this comes across in the act. I haven’t seen them before – but like with Bwani Junction, I will definitely be coming back. On record they are a quirky delight, like they retain their quirkiness, but also manage to sound gorgeously symphonic at the same time. No mean feat. the Brewis Brothers are continuing to plow their own furrow, and plow it well…

Field Music – A New Town by memphisindustries

Competition Time!


OK folks.

The HMV Picture House in Edinburgh is running a series of shows for the Next Big Thing Festival across the UK.

According to the press release: ‘The first show on Monday 6th February sees Field Music showcase their indie rock sound to Edinburgh coinciding with the release of their eagerly awaited fourth album, Plumb. Recently added to the bill is Glasgow electro pop favorites The Dykeenies. Having released their first album in 2005 and landing a spot of the NME Rock and Roll Riot Tour, the band have went from strength to strength. Joining them is fellow Glaswegians, Laki Mera, whose debut EP drew comparisons from artists such as Concteau Twins and Portishead and finally Edinburgh’s very own Bwani Junction. Frightened Rabbit headline a sold out second HMV Next Big Thing show and are supported by We Are Augustines and Fatherson on Friday 10th February.’

…and being lovely people they have given me a pair of tickets to the Field Music gig at the Edinburgh HMV Picture House on February 6.

To be in with a chance of winning, simply answer this question:

Q: What is the name of Field Music’s new album, to be released in February 2012?

Email answers to by Friday February 3.

Field Music – A New Town by memphisindustries