To launch their new album Open Here and kick off their UK tour, Field Music played three specially-staged performances at Northern Stage. We caught the third and final show at this venue on the Saturday night. The Northern Stage performances also featured an expanded orchestral line-up – The Open Here Orchestra.
Our show was filmed and streamed live on YouTube and is still available to watch at the time of writing. The band had sourced a vintage Tyne Tees television camera for the task, with impressive musical pedigree having previously been used to film The Tube. Another camera was filming from the audience a couple of seats away from us.
This being a theatre, the performance was split into two halves separated with an interval. There was no support act, but maybe it wouldn’t have worked well, with the main performance being split in two.
The set opened with Time In Joy which immediately showcased the sound of the expanded line up. Peter and David swapped over on drum and vocal duties for Count It Up – the first of numerous switches during the night. The string quartet and flute backing on title track Open Here was captivating and, as with several songs from the new album, it’s hard to imagine how this could be performed as well without the orchestra.
The set featured all ten songs from Open Here, interspersed with a highlights from their back catalogue. Other than the Open Here album, there were four songs from Plumb and three from Commontime, with one apiece from the earlier albums.
The second half contained the excellent Checking On A Message and Share A Pillow from the new album. The highlight of the set for me was the closing track to the second half , Find A Way To Keep Me, helped in no small part by a film backdrop of the landscape of the North East. A great example of visuals and music combining powers to create something special.
It’s always a pleasure to see Field Music but it felt especially fortunate to catch them in this unique setting, with The Open Here Orchestra, bringing to the sound of the new album to life.
Other points of note: