John Egdell (full band)
Fri 2 Nov 2012 Price: £8.00 Doors Open: 20:00Buy tickets ShareThis
The second day of The Cluny Tenth Anniversary Weekender sees Cluny favourites and 2012 Mercury Music Prize nominated Field Music headlining in the main venue.
Field Music have launched all four of their albums to date at The Cluny, and have supported the venue right from the start.
They will be supported by close friends and collaborators Warm Digits, and John Egdell, who will be playing with a full band for only the second time ever.
Field Music, brothers Peter and David Brewis, hail from Sunderland in the North-East of England. The band’s music draws on influences as wide-ranging as Stravinsky, Stax R&B, Fleetwood Mac, Serge Gainsbourg, Thelonious Monk and Kate Bush. Field Music’s sound is like all of the pop music you’ve ever heard but with a distinctly British – and north-eastern, tinge. They’ve become known for a deconstructionist approach to songwriting, playfully twisting compositions into new and odd shapes, with a refreshing disregard for convention and cliche.
“Machine funk kraut-a-delia – it’s rather lovely!” Andrew Weatherall
You’d be hard pressed to disagree with the seminal DJ and producer listening to ‘Keep Warm… with the Warm Digits’ (Distraction Records), an album that comes as though arriving from a distant time, where music still only saw limitless horizons and endless sonic possibilities. Warm Digits’ duo Andrew Hodson and Steve Jefferis’ bewitching debut LP is undoubtedly steeped in the lineage of the 1970s experimentalism of the likes of Neu!’s hypnotic repetition and the open-minded philosophies of Brian Eno, but it’s testament to the pair’s own broad visions that in 2012 these touch stones have been sculpted into a sound that retains a refreshing sense of modern vitality.
Hodson and Jefferis are a trans-Pennines collaborative project – something referenced by the title of the track ‘Trans-Pennine Express’ – with both having history as mainstays of Newcastle and the North East of England’s intimate but ever evolving music community. Though Andrew has since moved to the more traditional cultural powerhouse of Manchester, he retains close links with the region, recently collaborating with old friends, Sunderland’s Field Music, to help them record the unique ‘One Copy’ in the North West’s Lauriston Gallery. It’s an album whose sole copy is owned by the creators as a statement against the free streaming and sharing culture becoming dominant in music and Field Music’s David Brewis returned the favour to his old pal appearing here on bass. Hodson also runs Seed Studios in Trafford and has worked as a producer with the likes of Maximo Park’s Paul Smith and modern folk duo Cath and Phil Tyler among others.
Jefferis for his part comes from a more glitch-electronica background, something that remains evident within the vortex of Warm Digits enveloping sound; previous releases from him have come under the name Cathode for the likes of Expanding Records, Static Caravan and Distraction Records. Combined the pair have taken their previous wanderings to a new level; forming whilst both still living in Newcastle, they developed from a techno-influenced laptop duo into a more panoramic, texturally aware couple after trying their hand at live score work for Canadian film maker Norman McLaren. Rehearsals for this saw the opening developments of what is now a thrilling semi-improvised brew of metronomic rhythms, snowstorm guitar and radiophonic electronics, dual-laptop electro, swathes of no-wave guitar and frantic free jazz drumming. It says much for their openness and mastery of such dexterity that their debut LP easily manages to contain these myriad influences, working them into a cohesive whole.
With previous remix work for Unkle and Maximo Park, existing fans including BBC Radio 6music’s Marc Riley and a newly blossoming live show that’s seen the pair support Goblin and Modeselektor to name just two – their 21st century krautrock hybrid is more than capable of crossing over to the dance floor.
Having been playing solo sets on the Newcastle scene for a few years now, and guesting on various projects, its time for John Egdell to reach a wider public.
A prolific writer, Egdell's songs are small tender pictures of life, some just touching on a minute long. He describes his songs as "diary entries and unsent letters", not really written with public performance in mind. He carries the idea
of capturing a moment throughout the creative process by writing or recording whole sets of songs on single days, marking dates like his birthday or new years day with long hours shut away with a guitar and an 8-track.
John has put out six self released demo collections to date, while his intimate lo-fi live shows have helped him build a solid and enthusiastic band of fans. Amongst those fans is Newcastle based singer-songwriter Kathryn Williams. Williams was given a demo of Johns music by Neville Clay (another Newcastle artist). She was hooked after one listen. John's debut album "Your Big Day" was released on 11 July 2005, on Williams' micro label, Caw Records.
Of the record, John says, "I just want it to be an honest representation, really. I like instruments to sound the way they are in real life, and so I try not to mess with the recordings too much". In the same way that his songs are about moments, his recordings are freeze-frames of life- "I want a record of the event of an instrument being played or a song being sung- if the record includes imperfections, then thats fine, because thats what happened in the moment."