REVIEW: Field Music, Independent, Sunderland

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FIELD Music are the pinnacle of the Sunderland music scene.

They’re local boys who have done brilliantly – The Futureheads’ artsy brother, you could say.

It seems odd, then, that it has been six years since these lads have played a gig in their home town and this meant that even some of the most absorbed local music junkies were coming to this show with virgin ears.

The night was in aid of Sunderland music institution The Bunker, to raise funds for the repair of their roof.

Fittingly, support for the night was provided by Maps are Fiction, followed by Lilliput, two regional bands demonstrating some phenomenal up-and-coming home-grown talent.

The former played a stirring dark pop set, heavy with jarring guitars and deep vocals. Lilliput, put forth an array of alternative folk pieces; upbeat and charming with impeccable harmonies throughout.

Field Music wouldn’t be the first band you think of when you hear the word dancing, but the crowd managed it immediately.

New album Plumb is a masterpiece of clean-cut vocals and clattering instrumentals, more Artrocker than NME, but accessible nonetheless. The LP’s youth didn’t mean that the crowd was unfamiliar, only that the band was enthusiastic and the material crisp.

They manoeuvred perfectly between that, and their back catalogue, providing something for fans young and old.

Their older material is more uptight and studied than Plumb is, but the set played comfortably, to a keen crowd.

Brothers Peter and David Brewis form the core of the band (switching between drums, vocals, keyboards and guitar) with Ian Black and Kev Dosdale providing instrumentals.

Their music is simple and minimal in essence, but its non-standard formation sets it apart from the rest.

Field Music were one of the pioneers of the local scene that’s thriving at the moment, and many of the stars of that scene were in the crowd on Saturday night.

They’re real legends in the area, which makes it a shame that they are so reluctant to play local gigs.

I suppose, though, that it does make us all the more eager with their shows spaced so far apart.

We’ll just have to wait and see you in another six years, boys.