Field Music began life in 2004 as the project of Sunderland brothers, David and Peter Brewis, along with at times various members of The Futureheads and Maximo Park. They released two albums (including Tones Of Town, described by Marc Riley as the best album of the last 30 years) before going on hiatus in 2007. During this break, David recorded as School Of Language and released the brilliant Sea From Shore album, which mixed expansive prog rock bombast with a sparkling pop sensibility, carried out to perfection on the stunning ‘Rockist’ single. Peter simultaneously released the more subdued but equally impressive The Week That Was LP, combining his trademark obscure time signatures and Beatle-esque tunes with a more orchestral backing culminating in pop perfection on tracks like ‘The Airport Line’.
Despite their individual triumphs, the indie world breathed a sigh of relief when the Brewis brothers reconvened in 2010 and released their first double album, Field Music (Measure). The record took shape from the sound of all their previous work, bundling it together to create an eclectic treasure trove of wonderfully produced pop nuggets, which achieve that rare feat of being so complicated they sound simple.
This was followed earlier this year by Field Music’s fourth album proper, Plumb. The sprawl of the previous record was ditched in exchange for a more direct approach, with 15 songs squeezed into half an hour. The album begins like the second half of Abbey Road, with song fragments colliding into one another and familiar themes emerging as part of a micro song suite; the concise nature means nothing outstays its welcome, and the whole thing is over before you’ve had chance to take on board how much has just happened in the last 30 minutes.
On stage, Field Music operates as an impressively talented four piece, with the Brewis brothers swapping between drums, keys and guitar to create their own special formula of math-pop. Anyone who has attended any of Field Music’s regular instore gigs at Resident knows how good this band is live; they have reached a point in their career where they have such a wealth of material to draw from that every gig will be different but all will be well worth seeing.