Live review: Field Music at Oran Mor, 4/10/12

Field Music, fresh from Mercury Prize nomination fanfare grace Glasgow with there quirky pop da bop presence round the west end way of Oran Mor this fine October Sunday.

 

Having previously appeared at the likes of Stereo and The Captains in the last few years the choice of venue could be interpreted as something of an upgrade.

However, while well attended the venue doesn’t appear as packed as one might have hoped, perhaps caught out by the uber early kick off time of 8.30pm.

Off to a less than convincing start, David Brewis (one half of the brothers Brewis core of the band) proclaims he is unable to hear himself much to the bemusement of the other band members.

Following some brief jiggery pokery all is again well and Field Music kick into the melodic beauty that is ‘Start the Right Day’ from latest album, Plumb.

Understandably, quite a chunk of the set consists of the Mercury nominated Plumb but at 35 minutes long there is plenty of time still to, as David says: “give a nod to the back catalogue”.

Over the years, Field Music has become the world’s leading ambassadors of a distinctly British musical style; that of quaint suburban sensibility shot through with a dry self-depreciating sense of humour.

Such sensibilities seep through no more so than with superbly titled ‘Sorry Again, Mate’ as David and Peter sing: “trying to beat the traffic, beat the traffic, meet the train”.

Sneaky shifting time signatures complete with those funky Kinks/Small Faces type hooks are order of the day on the likes of ‘Just Like Everyone Else’ and ‘A New Town’ as the crowd warm further to the likeable Sunderland outfit.

While the hardcore element of their fan base may have preferred some more hidden gems from their first couple of releases there is no denying the quality of the new pieces showcased tonight.

Stories of how the previous nights gig featured something of a first when a girl requested the album ‘with the funky guitar tracks’ at the merchandise stand gain a chuckle from Oran Mor’s attendees.

The light tone is continued as Peter explains how while filming recently for the Mercury Music shenanigans he was informed of their ‘no sweat’ policy – how he was advised to “make use of the towel”.

But amongst the banter we return to the quality mini pop symphonies that the masses turned up for, eventually they navigate to a personal highlight of the night with ‘(I Keep Thinking About) A New Thing’ proving even stripped down numbers can still captivate.

The set flows so effortlessly through a master class in layered fuzzy pop before we know it home time has struck again and the old church bids farewell to those terrific technicians, Field Music.

Words: Andy Quigley

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