Fields of the Nephilim Newcastle Mayfair 1988

Fields of the Nephilim Newcastle Mayfair 1988
I got quite into goth music in the late 80s, and read a lot about Fields of the Nephilim. I was intrigued by their “dust and death” image; these guys looked pretty cool in their dusty leathers and large brim cowboy hats, straight out of a spaghetti western. Their music was a strange mix of doomy heavy rock, with soft growled vocals. Live they were a strange experience; very moody and challenging, but ultimately this was a gig I still remember to this day. This was the “Precious to the Lost” tour. The stage was filled with some sort of combination of dry ice, smoke or dust and the band were dressed in long ragged, cowboy clothes, covered in flour to give their trademark dusty look. The lighting was dark and doomy and the songs slow, rhythmic with strong bass lines and powerful vocals. I picked up a copy of their fan mag “Helter Skelter” at the gig. The picture on the cover will give you an idea of the band’s image. Their website also explains where they are coming from: “Fields of the Nephilim is the creation of vocalist and front man Carl McCoy, a seeker of the greater truth”. Their lyrics draw from the occult and related mythologies. This band still continues to this day, playing gigs every now and then and commands quite a legendary status. A setlist from a gig around that time shows the band playing the following songs: Preacher Man; Love Under Will; Endemoniada; Psychonaut; Trees Come Down; Celebrate; The Watchman; For Her Light; At the Gates of Silent Memory; Chord of Souls. Encore: Last Exit for the Lost; Moonchild; Phobia. I would guess that they will have played some of these songs at the gig I attended.

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2 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Sam on March 15, 2014 at 2:42 pm

    I was there. I didn’t especially want to be, and I didn’t really enjoy it.
    I only went because a friend of mine from school was a big fan but he had a very youthful face and we didn’t think he’d be allowed in. Basically we wanted to be there to see his disappointment. In the end he was allowed in, and FOTN remain the only band I’ve seen out of spite.

    As a heavy metal fan, I was disappointed that Carl McCoy didn’t interact with the crowd very much their shtick being, as you described, grumpy cowboys. None of the pompous “Scream for me Newcastle” or “Everyone on this side say wooo!” theatrics that I was familiar with. I do remember him saying “Thanks Newcastle, goodnight” at the very end of the show in an alarmingly high-pitched voice: I was staggered after the gravelly singing how effete he sounded… maybe that was just me.

    I remember enjoying the support band; Underneath What! more than most support acts I saw around that time, and on reflection if they’d come along a little later they’d have enjoyed more success with their grungey, almost industrial sound.

    I think your review is brilliant. Everything about that night was memorable, apart from the music 🙂

    Reply

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