LISTEN: Field Music – ‘Only In A Man’s World’

With their upcoming new album, Making A New World, the North East’s finest musical collective offer a nineteen track song cycle about the after-effects of the First World War. However, Field Music‘s new release isn’t about war and it is not, in any traditional sense, an album about remembrance. There are songs here about air traffic control and gender reassignment surgery. There are songs about Tiananmen Square and about ultrasound. There are even songs about Becontree Housing Estate and, as with their latest single, sanitary pads.

Tackling a poignant and relevant subject, ‘Only In A Man’s World’ is filled with whirring synths and funk-fused hooks, as Field Music’s trademark sweeping harmonies and distinctive jangly uplifting energy flows. Addressing how little the marketing of sanitary products has changed in the last hundred years, and the unfair taxation of what is an essential item for half the population, as front man David Brewis implores “Why should a woman feel ashamed…?”, it offers a refreshing and musically rich insight into our unfair society.

Of the track, Brewis explains:

I found myself researching the development of sanitary pads… and was surprised at how little the advertising material has changed in a hundred years. It’s still, ‘Hey Ladies! Let’s not mention it too loudly but here is the perfect product to keep you feeling normal WHILE THE DISGUSTING, DIRTY THING HAPPENS’. And you realise that it’s a kind of madness that a monthly occurrence for billions of women – something absolutely necessary for the survival of humanity – is seen as shameful or dirty – and is taxed MORE than razor blades?! At every stage of making this song, I had to ask myself, am I allowed to do this? Is it okay to do this? And I cringed in the next room when I first showed it to my wife. But I think confronting my own embarrassment is a pretty fundamental part of what the song is about.”

So, thank you Field Music for putting such an important subject to such marvellous music.

Making A New World, the upcoming album from Field Music, is out 10th January via Memphis Industries. Pre-order here.

Mari Lane


Darlington Music Collective Tracks Presents: Noisy Daughters Event

Following on from their successful Womenfolk event in October 2017, Darlington music collective Tracks have organised a FREE workshop & panel discussion on 3rd March – followed by a ticketed gig! – to celebrate females in music. The event aims to teach and inspire the next generation of girls and lead the way to equality in music. The showcase will take place at the new Theatre Hullabaloo space that’s recently opened in Darlington.

Tracks are a non-profit organisation and any money raised from ticket sales will go back into funding future Noisy Daughters events. The workshop is open to females only, but all are welcome at either the panel or the gig.

The free songwriting workshop for women runs from 1-3pm, and will be delivered by Liz Corney (The Cornshed Sisters, Field Music). Participants are encouraged to bring their instruments and are offered guidance in all things musical composition (places are limited; so booking is advised). This will be followed by a panel discussion from 3.30pm-4.30pm, which will centre around the issues facing women in the music industry today, and what can be done to change them.

Panelists include Rianne Thompson from BBC Tees, Hannah Van Thompson of The Van Ts, Claire Dupree from Narc Magazine, and Liz Corney of The Cornshed Sisters/Field Music. Sarah Wilson from Tracks/BIG Little Gigs will be chairing, and there will be an opportunity for the audience to ask questions at the end.

The day will conclude with a headline gig from The Van Ts, with support coming from the likes of BBC 6 Radio play-listed singer-songwriter Eve Conway, the much hyped hip-hop act Leddie MC, and energetic electro-pop pioneers Twist Helix.

(Pic: The Van Ts)

Sarah Wilson from Tracks said: “It’s vital to give women in music credible, female-led music events nationally, and it’s brilliant that we can do this in our hometown of Darlington. We’re hoping to inspire the next generation of female musicians, whilst giving a platform to the current batch of female artists that are leading the way”.

BBC statistics showed that last year, 84% of headliners at music festivals were men. demonstrated that this trend occurs not only at festivals but takes place on a daily basis at regular shows. On a randomly selected day(12th October 2017), they found that out of the 370 gigs listed on their website, 69% of the acts (255) were made up entirely of men, while just 9% (33) were female-only (half of these being solo artists).

Outside of the performance arena, a recent study by Georgina Born and Kyle Devine – titled ‘Music Technology, Gender, and Class: Digitization, Educational and Social Change in Britain’ – highlighted the “highly (male) gendered digital music field” in which approximately 90% of music technology students are currently white males. The outcome is that the creative field becomes dominated by male practitioners, male lecturers and male authors.

With all these negative headlines and a male dominated industry it’s easy to see why women are underrepresented in the world of modern music. Thankfully, organisations like Tracks are tackling the issue head on with their brilliant Noisy Daughters event.

Tickets for the gig are available online here. Physical tickets can be purchased from The Pennyweight in Darlington.

FYI – this is a 12 + event (under 16s must be accompanied by an adult).

RSVP to the free song-writing workshop & panel here.

Follow Tracks on Facebook and check out their website for updates & future events.

Kate Crudgington