Field Music

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Field Music
Field Music at The Water Rats, Kings Cross, London, UK. November, 2007.
Background information
Origin Sunderland, England
Genres Indie rock, art rock, progressive pop
Years active2004–present
LabelsMemphis Industries
Associated acts School of Language
The Week That Was
The Futureheads
Maxïmo Park
Members David Brewis
Peter Brewis
Andrew Lowther (touring band)
Kev Dosdale (touring band)
Liz Corney (touring band)
Past membersAndrew Moore
Tom English (touring band)
Ian Black (touring band)

Field Music are a Mercury Prize nominated [1] English rock band from Sunderland, Tyne and Wear, England, that formed in 2004, particularly active in the Wearside region. [2] The band's core consists of brothers David Brewis and Peter Brewis, with Andrew Moore occasionally featured as keyboardist. Their line-up has at times featured members of both Maxïmo Park and The Futureheads.

Mercury Prize award

The Mercury Prize, formerly called the Mercury Music Prize, is an annual music prize awarded for the best album released in the United Kingdom by a British or Irish act. It was established by the British Phonographic Industry and British Association of Record Dealers in 1992 as an alternative to the Brit Awards. The prize was originally sponsored by Mercury Communications, a brand owned by Cable & Wireless, from which the prize gets its name. It was later sponsored by Technics, Panasonic, Nationwide Building Society and Barclaycard (2009–14). The 2015 prize was sponsored by the BBC, while in 2016 it was announced that a three-year deal had been struck with Hyundai to sponsor the event.

David Brewis is an English singer, songwriter and musician. With his brother Peter Brewis, he formed Field Music, a rock band based in Sunderland, Tyne and Wear in 2004.

Maxïmo Park English band

Maxïmo Park are an English alternative rock band, formed in 2000 in Newcastle upon Tyne. The band consists of Paul Smith (vocals), Duncan Lloyd (guitar), and Tom English (drums). The band have released six studio albums: A Certain Trigger (2005), Our Earthly Pleasures (2007), Quicken The Heart (2009), The National Health (2012), Too Much Information (2014) and Risk to Exist (2017). The first two albums went gold in the UK and their debut was nominated for the Mercury Prize.


Field Music have been celebrated as one of the few bands to transcend and outlast the indie guitar band explosion of the mid-2000s. Describing the band as "a truly artful proposition in the pseud-filled landscape of contemporary Brit art-rock", music blog The Fantastic Hope puts this down in part to their "un-self-conscious anti-fashion stance", arguing that Field Music's "wayward pop from the fringes of academia is one of the most worthwhile ways in which rock//indie/guitar music/white pop/whatever might evolve". [3] Critics have compared their music to acts as diverse as Steely Dan, XTC, Prefab Sprout, Peter Gabriel, Scritti Politti, Talking Heads and Todd Rundgren. [4]

Steely Dan American rock band

Steely Dan is an American rock band founded in 1972 by core members Walter Becker and Donald Fagen. Blending rock, jazz, traditional pop, R&B, and sophisticated studio production with cryptic and ironic lyrics, the band enjoyed critical and commercial success starting from the early 1970s until breaking up in 1981. Throughout their career, the duo recorded with a revolving cast of session musicians, and in 1974 retired from live performances to become a studio-only band. Rolling Stone has called them "the perfect musical antiheroes for the Seventies".

XTC English pop group

XTC was an English rock band formed in Swindon in 1972. Led by songwriters Andy Partridge and Colin Moulding, the band gained popularity during the rise of punk and new wave in the 1970s, later playing in a variety of styles that ranged from angular guitar riffs to elaborately arranged pop. Partly because the group did not fit into contemporary trends, they achieved only sporadic commercial success in the UK and US, but attracted a considerable cult following. They have since been recognised for their influence on Britpop and later power pop acts.

Prefab Sprout are an English pop band from Witton Gilbert, County Durham, England who rose to fame during the 1980s.


Prior to Field Music, David Brewis was in the projects The New Tellers and Electronic Eye Machine. Several songs from these bands ended up as early Field Music recordings. His brother Peter Brewis at one time played drums for fellow Sunderland band The Futureheads.

The Futureheads band

The Futureheads are an English post-punk band from Sunderland. consisting of Ross Millard, Barry Hyde, David "Jaff" Craig and Dave Hyde (drums). Their name comes from the title of The Flaming Lips album Hit to Death in the Future Head. The band's influences include new wave and post-punk bands such as Gang of Four, Devo, XTC, Wire and Fugazi.


First phase (2004-2007) - Field Music, Write Your Own History, Tones of Town

Field Music released their self-titled debut album in August 2005. A collection of B-sides and earlier songs (including tracks written for The New Tellers and Electronic Eye Machine), Write Your Own History, was released in May 2006. Their second album, Tones of Town , was released on 22 January 2007.

A-side and B-side the two sides of 78, 45, and 33 1/3 rpm phonograph records and cassette tapes

The terms A-side and B-side refer to the two sides of 78, 45, and 33​13 rpm phonograph records, or cassettes, whether singles, extended plays (EPs), or long-playing (LP) records. The A-side usually featured the recording that the artist, record producer, or the record company intended to receive the initial promotional effort and then receive radio airplay, hopefully, to become a "hit" record. The B-side is a secondary recording that has a history of its own: some artists released B-sides that were considered as strong as the A-side and became hits in their own right. Others took the opposite approach: producer Phil Spector was in the habit of filling B-sides with on-the-spot instrumentals that no one would confuse with the A-side. With this practice, Spector was assured that airplay was focused on the side he wanted to be the hit side.

<i>Tones of Town</i> 2007 studio album by Field Music

Tones Of Town is the second full-length studio album by indie rock band Field Music. It was released on 22 January 2007. "In Context", "A House Is Not A Home" and "She Can Do What She Wants" were released as singles.

In an interview with BBC 6 Music in April 2007 the band claimed they were intending to split once the promotional engagements for Tones of Town were completed in June 2007. [5]

"We basically want to do things that aren't classed as 'Field Music indie band'. We're not going to be a band for a bit. But Field Music aren't going to be over because we've already got a bank account under the name, so we'll just continue as a company. It's time to go and do some real work."

Hiatus of Field Music brand (2007-2009) - The Week That Was, introduction of School of Language

Field Music later confirmed that the band had not split, addressing the hiatus on their official website. Under the name School of Language, David Brewis released the solo album Sea from Shore in February 2008 through Memphis Industries (in the UK and Ireland) and Thrill Jockey Records (in the US and Europe), while Peter Brewis recorded an album under the name The Week That Was. The self-titled album The Week That Was was released on 18 August 2008, also with Memphis Industries, and featured both David Brewis and Andrew Moore on some tracks.

<i>Sea from Shore</i> 2008 studio album by School of Language

Sea from Shore is the debut album by David Brewis' solo project, School of Language. The group was created by Brewis during Field Music's 2007-2009 hiatus, during which the two Brewis brothers Peter and David Brewis went off to pursue wider musical interests not under the Field Music umbrella. "Poor Boy" and "Rockist" were released as singles, the latter with a video. The version of "Rockist" released as a single is an edited version containing elements of both Parts 1 and 4, representing half of the overall work, the two halves of which bookend the album. "Rockist" was the album's biggest commercial success, with Part 1 being used in television adverts for the Ford Fiesta.

Memphis Industries record label

Memphis Industries is a British independent record label.

<i>The Week That Was</i> 2008 studio album by The Week That Was

The Week That Was is the side-project of Peter Brewis, member of the Sunderland art-rock band Field Music. The group was created by Brewis during Field Music's 2007-2009 hiatus, during which the two Brewis brothers Peter & David Brewis went off to pursue wider musical interests not under the 'Field Music' umbrella. However, as both David Brewis and former Field Music member Andrew Moore feature on the self-titled album, it is labelled as an album by "The Week That Was & Field Music" on iTunes. The group also includes musicians frequently used in Field Music's album sessions, such as Emma Fisk and Peter Richardson on strings. Like Field Music, the songs are in a progressive, fractured style often operating outside of standard verse/chorus structures. However, there are some more radio-friendly songs on the album than Field Music's work, and The Week That Was also has wider and more elaborate use of instrumentation, particularly orchestral instruments.

Second phase (2009-2013) - Field Music (Measure), Plumb

In an interview with Stereogum in July 2009, [6] the band confirmed that they had reunited (minus Andrew Moore) and were busy recording a third Field Music record. The 20-song double album, titled Field Music (Measure) was released through Memphis Industries in February, 2010 (15 February in the UK, 16 February in the US).

The band was chosen by Belle & Sebastian to perform at their second Bowlie Weekender festival presented by All Tomorrow's Parties in the UK in December 2010.

Their fourth album, Plumb, was released on 13 February 2012. It was preceded by the song "(I Keep Thinking About) A New Thing", available as a free download from their website. The album was nominated for the Mercury Prize that year. In an interview with, guitarist and producer Al Kooper said that Field Music is his favourite new band. [7]

Third phase (2013–present) - Music for Drifters, Old Fears, Commontime, Open Here

In September 2013, it was revealed that Field Music had composed a soundtrack for the 1929 silent documentary Drifters. [8] The film, which originally premiered alongside Eisenstein’s Battleship Potemkin, was made by pioneering Scottish director John Grierson and follows the working day of a herring fishing fleet as it sets sail from the Shetland Islands. Field Music premiered the work with a live performance and screening for Berwick Film and Media Arts Festival. This commission saw the original line-up of Peter Brewis, David Brewis and Andrew Moore reunite for the first time since 2007. A subsequent screening and performance took place at London’s Islington Assembly Hall in November 2013. [9]

David Brewis played as a member of the touring band for former Fiery Furnaces singer Eleanor Friedberger on her UK tour in the summer of 2013. [10] He released a second School Of Language album - Old Fears - in April 2014. Both David Brewis and Peter Brewis joined their former bass player Ian Black in the band SLUG, touring as support to Hyde & Beast in the autumn of 2014. Peter Brewis also released an album, Frozen By Sight, in collaboration with Maxïmo Park's Paul Smith on 17 November 2014. [11] This consisted of 'baroque-pop' compositions by Brewis with edited excerpts of Paul Smith's travel writing sung in Recitative. A live performance of the album was staged, with other musicians including a string section, at Gateshead's Sage.

In November 2015, Prince posted a link to Field Music's newly released single "The Noisy Days Are Over" on his Twitter feed. [12] In February 2016 the band released their sixth album as Field Music, Commontime . [13] They performed two songs from the album—including "Disappointed", which featured in the "live" edition of the programme—in the second episode of the 48th series of the BBC music show Later... with Jools Holland . The performance was cited in a BBC poll as one of the highlights of the series. [14]

Early in 2016, the band completed their first UK tour in four years. [15] It was followed up by a US tour, which included dates in Washington, Philadelphia, New York, Boston and Seattle. They also played in California for the first time since the tour to promote 2007's Tones of Town.

In 2016, Field Music worked with Newcastle duo Warm Digits on the soundtrack for the film Asunder, directed by Esther Johnson, commissioned as part of the 14-18 NOW series of events to commemorate the centenary of World War 1. Writing for The Guardian , the film's creative producer, Bob Stanley revealed that the compositions, which were scored for the Northern Sinfonia by Peter Brewis, had been inspired by Stravinsky, Schoenberg and Messiaen. [16]

A seventh album, Open Here, was released in February 2018. The Guardian described it as a "grand masterclass in terrific tune-making". [17]



TitleAlbum detailsPeak chart positions
[18] [19]
Field Music
Tones of Town
  • Released: 22 January 2007
  • Label: Memphis Industries
Field Music (Measure)
  • Released: 15 February 2010
  • Label: Memphis Industries
  • Released: 13 February 2012
  • Label: Memphis Industries
Music For Drifters
  • Released: 18 April 2015 (Record Store Day vinyl release)
    24 July 2015 (wide digital release)
  • Label: Memphis Industries
  • Released: 5 February 2016
  • Label: Memphis Industries
Open Here
  • Released: 2 February 2018 [20]
  • Label: Memphis Industries
"—" denotes album that did not chart or was not released


Field Music productions

Albums by David Brewis as School of Language

  • Sea from Shore (4 February 2008)
  • Old Fears (7 April 2014)
  • 45 (30 May 2019)

Albums by Peter Brewis


  • Elements of the Sun EP (collaboration with Warm Digits for BBC Radio 3's Late Junction Sessions) (24 September 2012)
  • "Five Pieces for Roker, and Percussion" ('found sound', by Peter Brewis for the NGCA) (2013)


2005"Shorter Shorter"Field Music
"You Can Decide"
"If Only The Moon Were Up"
2006"You're Not Supposed To"Write Your Own History
"In Context"Tones Of Town
2007"A House Is Not A Home"
"She Can Do What She Wants"
2010"Them That Do Nothing"Field Music (Measure)
"Let's Write a Book"
2011"(I Keep Thinking About) A New Thing"Plumb
2012"A New Town"
"Who'll Pay the Bills?"
2016"The Noisy Days Are Over"Commontime

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Commontime is the sixth full-length studio album by English prog-pop band Field Music, recorded in their Sunderland studio and released on Memphis Industries Records on 5 February 2016 on CD and orange/green-coloured vinyl. The album marks the return of former keyboardist Andrew Moore, in a smaller role, and a shift towards the R&B and funk-like style earlier exhibited on David Brewis's second solo record as "School Of Language" and "Let's Write a Book" and "A New Town", previous singles by the band.

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  12. Brewis, David (30 November 2015). "Purple prose: Field Music on their love of Prince". The Guardian. London.
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  17. Simpson, Dave (2 February 2017). "Field Music: Open Here review – grand masterclass in terrific tune-making". The Guardian. London.
  18. Peak positions in the United Kingdom: "Field Music > UK Charts". Official Charts Company.
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