It's been quite the year for Field Music.
The band's stellar album 'Open Here' was overwhelming critical plaudits, while ever-ambitious live shows saw the group push themselves further and further.
Field Music will play London's Barbican venue on May 25th, the start of a summer of special live events and festival shows.
Ahead of this, Clash caught up with Field Music's David Brewis to explore his extra-curricular activities...
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It’s been so long since I’ve been able to watch a film (aside from, you know, half an hour of Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves on ITV4) that I’m having to rethink my whole relationship with the medium. There was a time when I’d be um’ing and ah’ing over City Of God or The Apartment or Magnolia but the bleakness of those films is not necessarily something I want to revisit as a dad to two small children.
I think my favourite film may actually be It’s A Wonderful Life. I can’t watch it and not cry and I always find it genuinely moving, even as I take the piss out of the awful fate of an unmarried woman - OH GOD, NO! SHE’S A LIBRARIAN!
My all-time favourite albums are mostly tried and true classics - albums I’ve been going back to and falling in love with over and over again for years - 'Parade' by Prince, 'Sgt Pepper’s...', 'Big Star’s Third', 'Hounds Of Love', 'Bad' by Michael Jackson.
Lately, I’ve had an obsession with 'Donny Hathaway Live'. It was taken from two sets with small bands in fairly small clubs in 1972. There’s a lot of stretching out, a few cover versions - mostly of contemporary hits, like 'Jealous Guy' and 'What’s Goin’ On' - and some amazing audience participation. The playing and singing is beautiful, it’s really funky and I can quite easily find myself immersed in it, singing along, imagining what the shows looked like, where the audience was sitting, which moments the band would have been chuckling about onstage.
The book I found myself mentally referring back to most often is a book about bebop by Scott Deveux. The current edition is called The Birth Of Bebop: A Social and Musical History. It traces how this tangle of social, economic and musical factors, along with the Second World War and the Great Depression led to this very particular and extremely demanding art form.
It satisfies my musical curiosity but it’s also like a history of the US in the first half of the 20th Century.
At home, if the TV is on, we’re watching Cbeebies or some other kids programme. My favourite is Ben and Holly’s Little Kingdom. The titular characters are an elf boy and a fairy princess - so far, so kids’ TV - but the rest of the characters are pompous or cantankerous or pedantic and they bicker and roll their eyes at each other constantly. It’s hilarious (and I’m gutted that my two aren’t more into it).
We’re in the process of building a new studio space so most of my work time in the last three months has involved me testing the limits of my dreadful woodworking and design skills. I’m very proud of my drill (the finest Christmas present an adult can receive) but my top gadget at the moment is a magnetic stud finder. It sticks to plasterboard screws behind skimmed plaster so you can tell where the timber studs are.
You may scoff, but if you ever have to hang really thick drapes from a ceiling or huge, heavy-as-hell timber diffusers from the wall, you’ll be jealous of my magnetic stud finder.
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Catch Field Music at London's Barbican venue on March 25th.
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