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Concert Review: Field Music And The Futureheads

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Newcastle Carling Academy
May 18th

Skip to the end. The Carling Academy, in rapture. A legion of kids in thrall to Barry Hyde's every move and nuance as, together, in a flurry of moshing and staccato exclamation, they rip the call and response chorus of "Hounds Of Love" a new arsehole.

Back. A world away and in the relatively sedate environs of The Sage's spiraling Hall 2, The Futureheads and Field Music have joined forces to play some new stuff. Here, they're within spitting if not quite touching distance and the result is exhilarating. We cut and run, or at least pant, our way to Tilley's for a pre-second show snifter in close proximity to Paul Smith, Jaff, and Marie Du Santiago (as was), before collapsing into our seats in the Academy.

It's only when we turn our attention to Field Music it becomes clear the seats are, in fact, so far away Peter Brewis becomes a mere speck in the distance. The diminutive threesome seems dwarfed by the huge stage and completely fails to rock out — in a good way. Field Music is about off-kilter pop tunes done with maximum thought and minimum theatrics. It works because, with the likes of "You're Not Supposed To," they've crafted the most brilliantly intelligent and insidious harmonic pop this side of The Beach Boys.

Forward. The Futureheads can do harmonies too, though. Admittedly nothing to challenge their support, but on the likes of "Back To The Sea," they come damned close. The new songs, enthusiastically received, show a refined and more restrained band ably setting their stall for the long game, innumerable pogofests inevitably presenting a mixture of diminishing returns and collapsed arches.

Mostly they work well, none more so than "Skip To The End's" irrepressible hip shaking summery jangle, and the misfires are few. The all-out pseudo-Pixies sonic assault of "Return Of The Berserker" is the prime offender. Broken hearts? More than a few. A happy ending? Definitely.

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