The Fields Of The Nephilim are one of my all time favourite bands! I bought all their stuff in the 1980’s and spent many an evening in my flat blasting tracks like ”Laura”, ”Trees Come Down”, ”Dawnrazor” etc at full blast whilst merrily clouded with cider and maybe the odd puff of ”Squidgy”. ”The Nephilim” has to be one of my all time favourite albums, i get goosebumps still when i listen, it’s a journey through the dark recesses of my mind, dim passages narrowing into cryptic spaces where my fears, hopes and dreams reside in cold storage waiting to be released from sinewy chains. After seeing them live once at The Fiesta Suite, Plymouth in the late 80’s and then experiencing ”Elyzium” & ”Psychonaut” i stopped following the band, its fragmentation and various incarnations during the 1990’s. The 2000’s peeked my interest in the band again and in my opinion they are just as good as they were back in the day. I still get the same goosebumps and there are still sinewy recesses to explore.
I turned up at the Shepherds Bush Empire just before the doors opened at 6:30pm. It was freezing!!! My companion arrived and we had a few large gulps of vodka in the queue to keep warm and to help loosen the sinews whilst the aforementioned queue slowly moved itself forward. It was a full moon that night but i could not get a shot of the moon, the venue and the queue in the same shot which is a shame! Anyway, after getting in and walking to our balcony seat we were offered our starter. Dolomite Minor are a duo from from Southampton comprising guitar and drums. I don’t know anything about them other than they are a duo and sound a bit like BRMC. They were ok, a lot more palatable than HIM (His Infernal Majesty). HIM are not my cup of tea at all. When the girls sitting in front of us got up and started screaming like, erm, girls as the band took to the stage i thought to myself ”Ohhh God, one hour of this!!” And that was how it went for a whole bloody hour like an alternative X Factor, scream scream giggle giggle etc etc! I had to get solace in the bar and give my ears some respite from this piercing teenage cacophony. One saving grace about the set though was that the lighting was interesting and helped with some decent photos.It was silvery and very Christmassy! Why were HIM on the same bill as Fields Of The Nephilim? HIM are influenced by FOTN and and Ville Valo is a friend of Carls, he got FOTN to play at the legendary Tavastia Club in Helsinki a few years back. I did notice that the stalls were only half full when HIM came on, the Watchmen and the hard core moshers flooding in as soon as they had left he stage.
At 9:30pm The Fields Of The Nephilim arrived on stage and started of with “Intro” (The Harmonica Man) from the “Dawnrazor” album followed by tracks from albums “The Nephilim”, “Elizium”, “Earth Inferno” and ”Zoon”. The voice of Carl McCoy has not changed in the past 25+ years, the vocals delivered with the same forcefulness and intensity,like Carl has been been chewing on burning coals and hot tar, the only change from the last time i saw them was that the dry ices was used more sparingly, Whatever the reason it certainly helped with the taking of pictures! There were plenty of Greek Watchmen in i noticed building their human pyramids and worshipping at the Altar like good acolytes. Once this bout of worship is done then they’ll be off to the next Ceremony!! Yes, it was an experience for me, a chance to renew my vows and feel those goosebumps again. It is around 25 years since i last saw them, the last time, there was so much dry ice you could not see the band at times and i was also in the crowd. Personally i would have liked the set to have been longer so i would have ditched Dolomite Minor on this occasion, having said that it was an experience to put on their cv and in 25 years if they are still together they will be playing an anniversary show at Shepherds Bush Empire, maybe!! Then again maybe Shepherd’s Bush may have gone the same way that a lot of London’s venues are going at the moment! I sincerely hope not!!!
To Stream Fields Of The Nephilim, HIM or Dolomite Minor you can find your way to Spotify