FIELDS OF THE NEPHILIM London Sheperds Bush Empire 05-06 December 2014
At their thirteth anniversary shows – and my what a long way away 1984 is – The Fields Of The Nephilim continue their usual business model of occasional shows in obscure towns – normally in east European countries, and never more than 16 shows a year – with a weekend in London. The band, now comprising long standing mainstay Carl McCoy, a returning Tony Petit, alongside relative newcomers Gavin King, Lee Newell and Andy James, are probably the nearest thing Goff has to Pink Floyd, a band made of ever changing lineups, or a slow and steady, patient business model, of a band that takes it time, and with only six studio records and two live albums in thirty years, as well as only 50 shows since 2000, The Nephilim are a labour of love. Tonight, the band – one I have slowly been falling out of love with as a live experience in a string of less and less satisfying live shows over the years – are one that once again, click. Now, I get it. Now, I understand. Now, the Nephilim are a band to be experienced. One where you find yourself in a place where the band play and provide a soundtrack to a personal journey, and where a 20 minute song like “At The Gates Of Silent Memory / Paradise Regained” is more a soundtrack for some kind of internal meditation than anything else. In short, The Nephilim are a soundtrack to some kind of internal journey, you don't think too much about it, you experience it, like Pink Floyd, and, to a latter extent parts of Underworld shows, where the music transports your mind and not your body.
In fact, aside from the live premieres of two unreleased songs – “Earthbound” and “Prophecy” - the entire set is made of songs that are all not less than 20 years old, and whilst the new songs bode well, this stubbornly unprolific band are a nostalgia act. Certainly, stuff like “For Her Light” (at last!) and “Psychonaut” are the band at their best, built on swirling guitars, hyperactive basslines, and some kind of pretensions to meditation. On paper, it all sounds flat, but for some reason, this works, in the way that lesser bands of their genre simply did not ever do, and whilst the identities of the original players may be shrouded in a degree of secrecy, the band, most of whom have been in the Nephilim for many years, perform to the standard you would expect from the bands reputation. It may be another Nephilim gig in an increasingly infrequent world, and one of the moments which simply cannot be repeated – for being there, in the room, at that time, as the music swells and the crowd waves through the room, but also, it's more than music, for a brief glimpse – we got to be more than the world makes of us.
Intro (The Harmonica Man) -
Preacher Man -
Love Under Will -
For Her Light -
At the Gates of Silent Memory -
Zoon III (Wake World) -
Last Exit for the Lost -