Leeds Cockpit
March 11th
Live Review


Harumph! Sometimes you see things that are so clever they make you jealous you didn't or couldn't do it yourself, like when plonkers in bars nab girls by doing magic tricks or an actor commands a standing ovation mid-performance. Bizarre thing to think when standing watching a band who've been together as a unit for only a few months and who haven't even had a single out yet, but 'fields' have all the makings of the band I always dreamt I was in since a little boy. Built around haunting melodies sketched by frontman Nick Peill in his own shed and harnessing more ideas and ambition than a nursery class at painting time, the band are a true joy to behold. Drummer Henry manages to telegraph the band's scatterbeat, almost electronic, rhythm, offset by Matty's metronomic yet thunderous basslines and guitarist Jamie's steady, uncomplicated guitar chug. All of this silhouettes Nick and fellow vocalist/keyboardist Thorunn perfectly, he sings like a naive boy crying for help and she with the glacial poise that can be expected from her Scandinavian origins- it's a bizarre counterpoint but one which perfectly encapsulates and amplifies the pastoral feel of the band's music. 'Songs for the Fields' is as arresting a set opener as I've ever heard, while the standard bearing 'Captain' is a joyous romp of epic proportions. Closer 'If You Fail We All Fail' lays aside the sentiment of it's title and turns into a jarring genre defying stand of post-indie-folk-rocktronica defiance that most bands would give their right ram tolisten to, never mind copy. The music itself owes much to many great artists- My Bloody Valentine, Yo La Tengo, Fairport Convention, Elliott Smith and M83 to name a few that sprung to my mind while I listened. But 'fields' beauty is that they are so much more than a sum of their illustrious parts- they make music which has many notable touchpoints but isn't essentially like any of them at all. They're a living embodiment of the notion that natural selection could apply to music as well as organisms. They make music so good it makes me gasp and blush at failings that had never bothered me before. They are truly special, take them to your heart as I have, you will not be disappointed. For half an hour, nothing else seemed to matter.

John McGee