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Fields: Caught live at The Borderline (2006)


Review by Richard Goodwin

IndieLondon Rating: 3 out of 5

ARRIVING at the venue, it’s clear who this gig is aimed at – students – and there are plenty of them. The Borderline is a nice little venue with the atmosphere of a cosy pub and it’s already busy before the opening support act even starts.

Once on stage, Kid Harpoon begins a bit of banter with the audience and then launches into his set. It’s all pretty minimal, just him and a guitar belting out standard indie singer-songwriter fair but with a spiky edge to it. Most people still appear to be more interested in the bar than Kid Harpoon – the curse of the support act I guess.

It’s quite clear who everyone is waiting for and once Goodbooks saunter onto the stage, the place erupts and the seating area at the back empties as the stage area fills with screaming, cheering students.

A couple of songs in and quite what the fuss is about is still a mystery. It’s not that Goodbooks are bad – they are a very competent, tight band and the performance is fine.

The problem lies in the fact that they are just fine. There’s nothing new here and nothing to set them apart from countless other indie bands.

They rattled through a 35-minute set of indie rock with gusto leaving the audience satisfied. But then it was back to the bar to get a few beers in before the other new indie darlings arrived on stage for this double headliner.

Fields were subsequently greeted by another big cheer from the crowd and quickly set themselves on stage.

A few quick words to the audience and they were off. About 30 seconds in and the word ‘twee’ began to worryingly circle in my head.

Thankfully, that is quickly blown away by a barrage of power chords, fuzzy guitars and more oomph than we’d seen that night so far.

Fields are a band who clearly like to mix lots of loud guitars with boy/girl harmonies and this makes for a wall of sound to good effect. They clearly have a knack for knocking out an anthemic tune and, combined with an energetic stage presence, they knocked out a brief but very entertaining set.

From this evidence, Fields have a lot of potential; however, you do feel they’re not quite there yet in terms of finding their own identity. They still bring to mind quite a few other bands – not least early My Bloody Valentine.

At the stroke of 11pm, a happy audience started filtering out onto the street, satisfied by their weekly dose of indie rock. There’s no doubt that both these hotly tipped acts have some work to do if they’re going to break into the top 10 anytime soon.

Fields are probably closer in the race for the prize but it’s still a case of close but no cigar… Just yet.