Live Review: Field Music / Mary Epworth – Foundry, Sheffield, 23.03.2018

The thing is with inventive bands and music, is it possible to replicate what goes on over months in the studio into a couple of hours live. Now doesn’t necessarily have to be the case all the time, but with the likes of Field Music and Mary Epworth, who teamed up to tour as two of the most creative forces pounding the live beat at the moment.

They (Field Music) arrived in Sheffield covered in critical glory from the release of their latest album Open Here, with support act Mary Epworth receiving similar amounts of fawning over last years Elytral. Thankfully both delivered on their hype. Dressed in Space Rock outfits and with some outlandish hair and  moustaches sported by her musicians, Epworth launched into a set of synth-driven space rock which took in elements of psych, indie rock and free jazz (Saxphonist for both bands Pete Fraser stunning, not only in his silver smock, but freestyling over the Epworth set to fantastic effect).

And so to Field Music.

It was less of the look and more of the effect with the Brewis brothers. Both brilliant musicians and engaging raconteurs – regaling the audience with anecdotes from the recording and general good natured chit chat between them, they are just about as unlikely rock stars as you can imagine, although as time goes on, so they effect a damn good impression of them.

The set itself was underpinned by songs from Open Here, amongst them the brilliant and part improvised (at least the words) Count it Up, as well as odes to their children – No King No Princess and Share a Pillow, but a smattering of their pop-prog epics form throughout their back catalogue, with the brilliant singles from Commontime, Disappointed and The Noisy Days Are Over, both sparkling.

Watching Field Music is as much about the musicianship though, with the brothers alternating on drums/backing vocals and guitar/lead vocals at various points in the set as they plough through their Talking Heads meets ELO via XTC eccentric pop music, Liz Corney’s synths and vocals telling although all eight of the members on stage make telling and tight contributions to the set.

And us the audience? We lapped it up.

Mary Epworth (click on the thumbnail for full image)

Field Music (click on the thumbnail for full image)

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