Industry shows in NYC are always an interesting experience. At last night’s Fields. performance (yes, there is a period in the band’s name), it was literally a who’s who of the music biz, with dressed to impress folks from plenty of entertainment media outlets and record labels. Hell, even some lads from Interpol rolled in as well, so the scene was totally set for an indie rock circus. Unlike many of the UK band showcases that have rolled through the east coast lately, Fields. packed the brand new rock venue The Annex. Not bad for a Tuesday night!
My first impression of the band was that they are led by good-looking individuals. The one-two punch of frontman Nick Peill and vocalist/keyboardist Thorunn Antonia gives the band their unique male/female vocal sound, and it doesn’t hurt that they are an attractive pair as well.
For a young band, they are completely at ease on stage, with the musical chops of a well-seasoned band. Their instrumentation gives the band a layered live sound, with Peill’s acoustic guitar adding texture to the fuzzed out guitars from lead axe-man Jamie and the distorted keys of the Icelandic Thorunn, resulting in rock splendor falling somewhere comfortably between M83 and My Bloody Valentine.
The band’s live harmonies, such as on the potential single “Song For The Fields”, definitely show influences from classic artists such as Crosby, Stills & Nash. There is a strong electronic underbelly to their songs, such as on “If You Fail We All Fail”, taking cues from Boards Of Canada and Postal Service for the indie-pop beats and tuneful synth lines.
As is typically the case at an industry-filled show, the crowd showed little enthusiasm during the set, which didn’t seem to faze Fields. whatsoever. Rather, the band put on a flawless performance, complete with hypnotic melodies that made me go home and rock through my back catalog of The Anniversary. I’ve got a feeling that we’ll be seeing plenty from Fields. throughout 2006.
A bit of advice for NYC music fans checking out The Annex. House well drinks and draft beers cost the same, so you get a little more bang for the buck if you opt for whiskey over Newcastle. Just a friendly booze tip from your fellow broke music fan.