Lee Barber || October 21st
I first saw Field Studies on the BBC Introducing stage at Glastonbury in 2015. They were one of those bands that really leave their mark on you, with a unique sound that leaves you wondering where they might get their influences from. To this day, I can feel so many different styles of music coming through in their sound and, having now witnessed them perform at The Sugarmill, I'm still bewildered by the intoxicating tones of folky, hymnal ballads laced with outbursts of experimental, precisely executed noise. Quite simply, Field Studies are a band who deserve, and must be given, your full attention as they sweep you off your feet.
After local bands Rewenge and Kitsune warmed up the venue wonderfully on a cool Monday evening, with Kitsune performing an almost perfect set might I add after clearly working hard tweaking their live sound, Field Studies took to the stage with ease, and went straight into their brilliant set with singer Chris Bailey's incredible voice immediately bringing the room to silence. Performing songs from their current EP 'Rainmaking', the band present their seamless set with enchantment, and I found myself moving closer and closer to the stage with the passing of each song.
Hushed Up carries with it harrowing guitars and haunting vocals and lyrics, and with it I find myself wondering if I'm finding hints of Boxer Rebellion and at points possibly even the romantic weirdness of Mac DeMarco. As the the brilliant Field Studies delve deeper into their archive dashes of Radiohead and Dry The River tantalise my senses and I begin to wonder how guitarist Kasper Sandstrom is able to create such incredible sounds with seemingly without even trying as he loses himself in every track and harmonises with Bailey's uniquely soft yet powerful voice perfectly.
On my way out of the venue I spot a handful of records on the mercy stand just as Sandstrom makes his way around the table to man it himself, and I can't help but shake his hand and congratulate him on such a wonderful performance. It's only when I pick up one of the vinyl's that I realise I don't actually have the cash on me to buy it. Needless to say, the sprint to the cash machine and back was very much worth it. I even got a free CD for the purchase.