Local alternative band Field Studies supported Shelter Point on Wednesday the 25th March at Stealth Nottingham, promoted and presented by DHP. The band met at Trent College and have been officially established since 2012. They’ve since played numerous gigs in Nottingham’s popular music venues such as the Maze, the Bodega and Jam Cafe promoting their music and their debut EP, Celestial. They have even played the main stage at Rock City during the Future Sound of Nottingham awards last year, where they were performing as contestants for the competition. The band have been gigging less over the past few months, however, as they have been dedicating their time to producing new music. So they took the opportunity of this gig at Stealth to showcase their new stuff, and let me tell you, it was bloody good.
One thing I’ve always believed about this band is their sound is so unique. I’m sure many who are familiar with Field Studies would agree that they haven’t heard another group like them. Even though they can belong to genres such as alternative or alternative rock, or perhaps in some songs even indie, they do not let these broad genres define them. It’s more that the band’s different songs present themes from different genres, especially when comparing their new stuff with the old. So don’t go expecting Field Studies to be like every other alternative band, they really do have their own unique edge.
Before the Shelter Point gig at Stealth it had been around a year since I last heard Field Studies play live, and I had only been exposed to their new material through at Nusic future session video on YouTube. I’d say this was probably the case for most of the audience too, so their performance came as a surprise. In contrast to their previously softer sound they brought darkness to the stage and a new level of professionalism in a flawless, polished performance. They had clearly experimented with sound to see what suited them and appeared more unique than ever before. Unlike their former songs on Celestial, the band created an intense and powerfully sombre atmosphere. Lead guitarist and backing vocalist Kaspar even brought out a violin bow at one point and used this on his guitar during Submarine, adding to this sinister aura.
The gig was the first official presentation of Submarine, which had not been performed live prior to the event, and it sat nicely next to a re-recorded and much more evolved version of an already established song from their debut EP, Hibernate. Other new songs showcased were Listener, Ohio and Money of America. These were all superbly received, not just because of the development and differences from the songs on Celestial, but because of the sheer talent the band now displayed. They really didn’t hold back with the smoke machine either, which added to the striking atmosphere. For the less metaphorically-minded among us, however, it left a few thinking “I couldn’t really see ’em.” Nevertheless, I think it’s safe to say we all loved the new sonorous sound. It displayed Field Studies as a highly professional and popular band, making me believe they really deserve bigger audiences in future, and headline gigs as well as supports.
It was clear that Chris, Kaspar, Andrew and Charlie have been spending their time writing new music very wisely, as they have returned to the stage as a technically-adept, well-composed and well-rehearsed band. It was hard to believe that the audience wasn’t there solely for them and that there was another great band still to follow. In many ways, it feels like Field Studies should be taken more seriously now they have so many more songs, and more variety to their content. And I wouldn’t be surprised to see them on much bigger stages very soon either.
Field Studies’ aim to record and release a few more singles this year. Their hope will then be to get their music and sound heard by a wider audience so they can hopefully get more of the backing and support they deserve. Some of their upcoming gigs include the 3rd of May at Filthys as part of FilthyFest and the 8th of May at The Cookie in Leicester. They have also announced they will be playing Dot to Dot festival again this year so if my thoughts on the band have intrigued you in the slightest, make sure you check them out on the 24th of May. I promise you won’t regret it! 2015 is hopefully going to be a big year for Field Studies and a bright future definitely awaits for them so do give them a listen.