Adventures of a University Finalist

Friday, November 04, 2005

Bed and Breakfast Men

Field

Field Music - If Only the Moon Were Up
Field Music - Breakfast Song
Field Music - Got To Write A Letter
Field Music - You're So Pretty...

I have no idea how to introduce this group so I'll throw facts at you until some of them stick. 1) There are 1, 2, 3 boys in the band, two of whom are siblings; 2) They're Mackems; 3) As a result of this geographical disturbance in the force, they're pretty chummy with Maximo Park and The Futureheads; 4) The group's favourite animal is a guinea pig; 5) Peter's favourite colour is mauve; 6) They enjoy spending their Sundays in E-Z loungers, sipping Special Brew and listening to 'Walk Away Renee' on repeat; 7) Andrew once playfully ruffled Danny Baker's hair and was then promptly knocked out by Danny's unfortunately pungent vindaloo breath; 8) Dave thinks that 'Sailor Moon' is "goddamn sexy"; 9) Their new single "If Only the Moon Were Up" is out on the 21st of this month and I can't wait!; 10) Field Music rock my self-centred universe. Disclaimer: some of these facts are fiction. Ooooooooh, it's paradox time!
So now that the history is out of the way, I'd like to point out that I'm so good to you guys that I've provided a fantastic B-side. 'Breakfast Song' from the band's debut 7" "Shorter Shorter". The rest can be found on the band's debut self-titled LP which should be purchased by all and sundry. It really is nothing short of a revelation. Oh god, how I wish that I had the ability to kick my synapses into gear and fully concentrate on the task in hand but it just doesn't seem to be happening today. The only word that swirls round my head to describe the band's sound is "Wire" but that only exists within my creative mind due to the omnipresent recommendation provided by Uncut in all of the band's advertising. What I do know is that such a comparison is a fallacy at heart existing only through the existence of clean shards of guitar noise functioning together in pursuit of the melody; the ridiculous in search of the sublime if you will. Wire pursued an aesthetic that was more abstract and willingly oblique than Field Music - their agenda was centred around rebirth whereas Field Music prefer to play by the current zeitgeist's rules. For now, anyway.
Of the selection that I have chosen, 'Breakfast Song' is a personal highlight - not due to it's relative obscurity but the distillation of a story of great emotional weight into a minute and a half pop song with no relative loss in its subject's narrative strength. The intro ripples with resrticted arpeggio movements on the acoustic guitar before the narrator pleads his unheard partner to come to bed following a row so that they can exchange their problems for fleeting dreams. The pay-off line of "I'll wait until the morning, get up early and make you breakfast" comes before the gentle wave of violin, piano and snapping snare. Everything pops and crackles like bacon spitting in fat next to wide eyed yolks. If I were to have to boil it down into a one line witticism I'd have to call it "Jimmy Webb's tears falling onto a English Breakfast with all the trimmings". The aforementioned single, 'If Only the Moon Were Up', is all bends through dusty country lanes wrapped up in a Jonathan Donahue ethos. There's even an attempt at Stax brass as played on toy trumpets and percussive horse hooves cracking floorboards. Despite this, it's so catchy and undeniably melodic that if God were Kenny Rogers then it should break the Top Forty. 'Gonna Write a Letter' boasts atypical handclapping rhythms that would cause The Meters to blush, accompanied by minor piano chords (to my limited theoretical knowledge), hammered on acoustic strumming, and falsetto harmonies that leave your throat sore from bellowing along. There's some impressive Here Comes the Warm Eno tape fiddling too that would leave Tiger Mountain lying on its back, legs akimbo, hollering "Take me now!" The album's closer, 'You're So Pretty', bouncing off a similar instrumental framework but with the addition of electric guitar carefully channeling Jeff Beck's jazz fusion years, words that should be in pop songs a lot more often such as "demeanour", and an erant pixie with a triangle who's not afraid to use it. It's so pretty I could listen to it all night... and I will.

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