Commontime is the new record from Field Music, the first album from Sunderland siblings Peter and David Brewis since 2012’s Plumb.
Written and recorded in spontaneous bursts over six months in their Wearside studio, Commontime is built around the brothers playing, writing and singing together again after four years of solo works, collaborations and soundtracks. "As much fun as we might have had on our own or collaborating, we missed just spending time in the studio, the two of us, trying things out together." explains David. However, the album also features a wider array of players, including original Field Music keyboardist Andrew Moore, Peter's wife Jennie Brewis and new member of the live band Liz Corney on vocals, along with a panoply of strings and brass.
Ahead of the band's appearance at Cardiff Globe on March 3, Andy Howells put questions to Peter Brewis
Who are you and how did you come together?
Field Music started in 2005, not really as a band as such, but a one off album. It was initially me (Peter), my brother, David and our school friend, Andrew Moore. Over the years Field Music has become a bit of an umbrella organisation for all of the different musical things we do. Sometimes it’s even a band!
Where are you from?
We’re from Sunderland in the North East of England.
How would you describe your music style?
I would like to think we have a bit of a magpie-style. We’re happy to take ideas and influences from anywhere so long as we think we can transform them into something that we can make our own. Having said that, everything we do as Field Music, the band, tends to sound like a good little band!
What's been your best live experience?
We’ve had lots of good live experiences so far. In terms of us playing well to a great audience I'd say Green Man festival in 2012 is pretty hard to top.
Can you tell us about your new album?
The album is out and in the shops! We’re really pleased with it and the reaction it’s had thus far. We’ve written some fairly conventionally structured songs this time. We’d shied away from that sort of thing in the past.
You're touring shortly are you looking forward to that?
Yes, we’re really looking forward to touring. We’ve got a new member of the band who’s helping us to sound good and a bit different. It’s exciting!
What can people expect from your forthcoming Cardiff gig?
It’s been a while since we last played there and I don’t know what people might be expecting. If people are expecting the old Field Music with a little something extra then hopefully they won’t be disappointed.
Where can people hear your music?
We’re on all the usual online music outlets: Spotify, Apple and so on. People might even be able to hear us on the old wireless from time to time. BBC6Music have been good enough to play us a fair bit over the past few months.
- A version of this Q&A with Andy Howells appeared in The South Wales Argus entertainment supplement The Guide on February 26, 2016