Release Date: Aug 26, 2008
Record label: Memphis Industries
Genre(s): Indie, Rock
Field Music mainstay Peter Brewis follows brother David into the solo fast lane with this intricate yet accessible fantasia for vibraphone, flute, strings and cornet. Brewis colonises the middle ground between Caravan and Heaven 17 with rapacious aplomb. Of all the 32-minute concept albums inspired by Paul Auster to come out of Sunderland this year, it's comfortably the best.
The main figure behind the Week That Was is former Field Music member Peter Brewis. With help from a wide range of musicians including David Brewis and Andrew Moore (making the album a mini-Field Music reunion of sorts), the self-titled debut is a lush and lovely slice of modern pop. The group's sound is no great departure from that of Field Music; it's just as arty, angular, and unfailingly melodic throughout.
The Week That Was is the ambitious new project from Field Music drummer Peter Brewis. While Field Music, a trio from Sunderland, England, evoked the Beach Boys' sunniness and Britpop's high energy, the Week That Was is a sprawling 12-person band whose songs veer in a thousand exciting directions. Brewis enlists fellow Field Music mates David Brewis on bass and vocals and Andrew Moore on piano, as well as flautists, cornet players, vibraphonists, violinists and cellists.
Don't be misled, readers; the name may hint at satire, but the charms this album boasts are anything but comic. Field Music may have been a critical fixture in the middle part of the decade, but what's proven particularly interesting about them above and beyond their consistency of endearment has been what they've got up to on sabbatical. Here, for instance, Peter and David Brewis have cherry-picked from the Sunderland mafia (recruiting, among others, several members of This Ain't Vegas, as well as Pete "Johnny X / J Xaverre" Gofton, which should please the old Kenickie fans among you no end), leading to an all-too-familiar outcome in the world of offshootery; if School Of Language are this year's Sparta, then that makes The Week That Was an equivalent Mars Volta.
Field Music is proving to be fertile ground for solo projects. Following the green shoots of David Brewis's School of Language comes brother Peter's The Week That Was. Part Paul Auster-influenced crime novella, part pithy exploration of the power media, this concept album recalls the fantastic visions of Kate Bush and the reality-rooted pop of Blur.