Bands that can't sing? There are plenty of those around. But tonight, in the snug back room at the Hoxton Square Bar and Kitchen, Field Music are proving they're pretty much the polar opposite of those offensively out-of-tune musicians.
You see, the music of this indie four piece from Sunderland is grounded in strong vocals just as much as it is in guitars. Front man Peter Brewis sings almost falsetto at times, yet his voice carries surprisingly, overcoming angular guitars, jaunty keyboard and powerful drums to dominate the room.Not that Peter gets the microphone to himself. David, his brother (on drums) and Ian Black (bass) can sing just as well, and together the three generate impressive harmonies which add layers of beauty to the band's precise, staccato, up-tempo songs.They have been away for a while, but you wouldn't know it. The sound is tight and well-rehearsed and the group appears likably earnest on stage. The first few songs are played with barely a pause, but as Peter's smiles become more frequent the banter soon picks up, breaking the ice with the overly-attentive crowd.Like we expected, material from the band's forthcoming album comes thick and fast. Our pick of the bunch is an absolute thumper. With a dramatic riff and gunshot drums, it's rockier than anything we've heard from Field Music before. If the rest of the record is this good, they're on to a winner.The gig builds to a satisfying, jerky, guitar-led crescendo and then, even though they've done more than enough to demonstrate their versatility, the Brewis brothers swap places. The last song is old favourite Tell Me Keep Me
, and as they step down from the stage (the only way out is through the crowd), it's clear 2010 could be a good year for Field Music.Field Music return to play the Scala on 3 March. Tickets are available now
for £9.50. (Image / Peter Brewis on stage at the gig. Our reviewer has been sent for photography lessons.)
Last Updated 08 January 2010