photo by Erika Dias

Having discovered The Magnetic Fields when their epic album ‘69 Love Songs’ was released, I was glad to catch them on their recent expedition outside of the states, which apparently dont happen too often. On this tour, they spent 3 nights at Cadogan Hall, and we went on the middle night.

Due to problems with their flights, they were missing their stage monitors - the previous night they didnt even have their own instruments. I Think they still sounded remarkably good considering they probably couldnt hear each other on each side of the stage!

The 2 women did most of the introductions and talking, while Stephen remained relatively quite and appeared somewhat subdued. As a band they seemed about introverted (abit like Low), which wasnt totally unexpected, as their music tends also to be in that vain. I had visualized Stephen as more like a tall Leonard Cohen-ish character - not that I was disappointed - serves me right for never having googled them for pictures before!

Their set was relatively acoustic, which was a pleasant suprise after the loudness that was their latest album ‘Distortion’. Even the tracks they played from new album were played acoustically, much like the sound from their previous albums.

They played a large selection of songs from their repertoire, which was greatly appreciated considering how much material they have, and at least in my case, I’d never heard any of their earlier stuff live prior to this gig. There set was so long, in fact, that they had a intermission, Which seemed rather civilized, along with the cups of tea they all carried on stag.

Stephen was appropriately nonchalant on stage, which suited the music, but I thought he went abit far when he was on his mobile before he’d even walked off stage…

All in all this was a solid performance from Stephen and his band, and I’m glad I had the opportunity to catch them live, who knows when the next time will be!

Enjoy the tracks from it below:
The Magnetic Fields - Nuns Litany.mp3
The Magnetic Fields - Book of Love.mp3
The Magnetic Fields - Give Me Back My Dreams.mp3
The Magnetic Fields - Its Only Time.mp3
The Magnetic Fields - Grand Canyon.mp3

Photo’s from the night:

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