These New Puritans @ Barbican, London, Thur 17 April 2014
(With guest vocalist Elisa Rodrigues + an expanded line-up featuring Synergy Vocals and the brass, strings, and percussion of the Heritage Orchestra, conducted by Edwin Outwater.)
Field of Reeds is such a stunning album — and the band’s full-on treatment at the Barbican made it even more magical. I particularly loved the added percussion courtesy of Heritage Orchestra, (fado singer) Elisa Rodrigues’s limpid voice, and the impressive baritones from Synergy Vocals.
As expected, V (Island Song) was epic and orgasmic. Here’s another awesome live rendition of that song => HERE
[Photos by Richard Gray via The405]
Danny Wright for the Guardian:
During the recording of their latest album, Field of Reeds, Jack Barnett, songwriter and frontman of These New Puritans, made brother Georgeendure 76 drum takes on the track Fragment Two. For fans aware of the band’s meticulousness, this wouldn’t come as a surprise: such unwavering dedication to finding the right sound is what makes them such a rare act.
At the Barbican, the band are playing that album in its entirety, another stride forward in their quest to realise the vast potential of their live sound. Joined by Portuguese fado singer Elisa Rodrigues and members of Synergy Vocals and the Heritage Orchestra, they reimagine Field of Reeds, colouring in the moments of silence and space that defined it.
What points were once calm, studious and reflective are, tonight, brought to life, with the sounds and songs revealing themselves as more vibrant, warm and expansive. Every part unites perfectly: the rich, hypnotic compositions; the ebb and flow of the choir’s vocals; the stirring strings and cacophonous horns. The band push themselves to fit within this; Jack Barnett takes the lead, but Rodrigues’s vocals equally as spellbinding.
The Michael Nyman-like Fragment Two bursts with life, while the pulsingOrgan Eternal seems even more revelatory with an orchestra’s power behind it. V (Island Song), however, is the realhighlight, a majestic, mesmerising nine-minute odyssey that effortlessly flits between disquieting and blissful.
The encore sees them play the drum-pummelling Three Thousand andWe Want War, from their second album Hidden, before it ends with the exquisite new song, Where the Trees Are on Fire, featuring the chilling refrain: “This is where your dreams come true, your nightmares too”. As they walk offstage to a standing ovation, you realise that sentiment perfectly captures the balance of the beautiful and the foreboding that marks their music.