Image by Louise Martin
“You wouldn’t get this at The Cluny, would you?” The Brewis brothers may remain thankfully unchanged by their new surroundings – David letting Peter know that the drum key is in his cardigan in case it goes out of tune is, let’s face it, pretty fiercely on brand – but this packed show in the main hall of Sage Gateshead is a sign of just how far they’ve come, and how beloved they remain.
Warming up for them is labelmate Haley Bonar, who although only her second ever UK show but already boasts a fine catalogue of material. Leading her band through highlights from this year’s breakout Impossible Dream album, her lively alt. country hits some wonderful highs on the strident Kismet Kill and I Can Change: there’s little doubt that she’s welcome back any time.
Appearing tonight complete with a string and horn section, Field Music deftly balance the funk edge of Commontime material like The Noisy Days Are Over and It’s A Good Thing with rarities chosen with their expanded line-up in mind, such as the delicate Precious Plans and a superb orchestral re-working of In Context. It’s an eclectic and extended set, with the band even finding time for a house breakdown in Let’s Write A Book, and one with a couple of surprise omissions – no I Keep Thinking About A New Thing for starters – but it’s one that showcases their remarkable body of work brilliantly. Closing out the night with a delicate performance of It’s Not The Only Way To Feel Happy, it’s evident that Field Music have made the jump to larger venues with grace.