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There’s a sea of bobbing heads at tonight’s packed out Fleece and riding the waves are Sunderland four-piece Field Music. The genre-defying band move through their set, sounding at times melancholy and downbeat while at others almost like Led Zeppelin put through the funk machine – the result of which is a mixed bag of happiness and bewilderment, neither a bad thing. The music takes dramatic and drastic changes in direction throughout the set, with band leaders the Brewis brothers showcasing all of their advanced musicianship as they continue to switch from drums to keys to guitars.

The crowd is a real mixed bag of ages, from the early teens to pensioners even, which is hardly surprising given the influences the group seem to infuse across the board and years. At times sounding like 60’s throwbacks while at times some parts of their music could easily slot in comfortably on a Coldplay or even Blur album.

The brothers apologise for playing songs that many may not know, as they rifle through a collection of material from their new album, which is just two weeks old – but the thankful sea of heads are willing to eat up every moment while waiting for the hits as they show respect for the tight riffs and dynamic drumming laden with pitch perfect harmony. Though not exactly cool or trying to be to cool, this is a foursome clearly comfortable in their own skin as they continue to joke about how they see tuning and driving as a large percentage of their job (anyone who’s ever played in a band will of course know the truth of this, but it’s a humbling statement that only endears you to them as people and performers even more).

As the set draws to a close, the band is of course invited to perform an encore and as we stand side of stage they quickly joke and take a swig of water before immediately returning to ride the next welcoming wave. Though the band may split many people, ultimately by being so indefinable at times, as performers the sound is always mostly fun and never boring.

Words: Adam Hooper
Photo: Laura Palmer