Fields Of The Nephilim
O2 Academy, Birmingham, 17th December 2013.
The double-header of The Mission and Fields Of The Nephilim was always going to be an awesome gig of two great halves of classic vintage gothic rock. The Mission were formed by two ex-members of The Sisters of Mercy – Wayne Hussey and Craig Adams, with the band proving to be amongst the most popular to emerge from England’s Goth rock scene during the late 1980’s. Tonight in Birmingham they opened with the first track from the latest album ‘The Brightest Light’, the slow building, ‘Black Cat Bone’. There may be less pure black clad Goth folk in the audience than in the early days, but the full house crowd were no less hungry for Mr Hussey and co. The newer material from this nearly original line-up of Wayne Hussey, Simon Hinkler and Craig Adams fared well. New tunes ‘Everything But The Squeal’ and the single ‘Swan Song’ all went down well. But it will always be the classics that will generate the most excitement and emotion. ‘Hands Across The Ocean’, ‘Beyond The Pale’, ‘Butterfly on a Wheel’ and ‘Deliverance’ are the Mission’s signature tunes which ignite a unique passion amongst their dedicated followers. This was shown in full with the crowd being pulled into plenty of sing-a-long’s. The combination of Wayne Hussey’s melodramatic vocals, Simon Hinkler’s eerie guitar sounds and Craig Adams’ fine bass work should ensure that The Mission continue to give a hell of a solid Goth rock performance for many more years to come.
Fields of the Nephilim formed in 1984, out of a dark, alternative underground scene. The Goth movement was in its beginnings and it wasn’t long before the Nephilim were tagged firmly with this label. Lead singer Carl McCoy is currently the only surviving member of the original line-up. They may not release many albums or play many gigs, but they still have the same distant, slightly ethereal, aura that has always set them apart from their peers. ‘Dead But Dreaming’ from the 1990 ‘Elizium’ album opened the set with McCoy appearing onstage out of the dark smoke laden gloom to a rapturous response. The Nephilim’s frontman’s impressive guttural roar and stage presence is something you are not easily going to forget. The weather-beaten, dishevelled clothing combined with effects-laden guitar and pounding tribal drums makes for a tremendous celebration within this temporary dark gothic metal temple. The audience responded enormously to the classic songs such as ‘Watchmen’, ‘Moonchild’, and the psychedelic and trance inducing ‘Psychonaut’ with its full load of brooding atmospherics. Young and old Goths, together with bare-chested balding blokes climbing onto each other’s shoulders, all worshipped at this Gothic alter tonight showing that the Nephilim are still very much a relevant band today.
See the full picture sets here:
Words and pictures by Stephen Turner.