As should be done when touring any concept album, The Week That Was is played in its entirety, in order, with barely a quip in between songs. Though when it's done, Brewis says, sheepishly, "Well, that was 'The Week That Was.'" While the record, a 32 minute ode to Paul Auster, the media and '80s production, is lush with strings and other accoutrements, here it's a stripped-down four piece: TWTW mastermind Peter Brewis, his brother and Field Music colaborator David on drums, plus a guitarist/keyboardist and bassist who switches to marimba for the dreamy "It's All Gone Quiet."
Still, without the strings, the lovely "The Airport Line" shows it's prog roots and suddenly less Kate Bush and more Rush.* (Not that there's anything wrong with that.) There's also a little Steely Dan floating around in the ether ("Charly Freak"), which keeps popping into my mind as these guys are seriously good musicians. And when you've got those chops the tendency to go nerdy is always there. But The Week That Was is rooted in great songs, so the odd time signature and occasional noodling is welcome.
MP3: The Week That Was - It's All Gone Quiet (buy it)
Stretching things out to proper set length is Field Music's first album chesnut "It's Not the Only Way to Feel Happy" and a cover of John Cale's "Fear is a Man's Best Friend."
SETLIST: Learn to Learn | The Good Life | The Story Waits for No One | It's All Gone Quiet | The Airport Line | Yesterday's Paper | Come Home | Scratch the Surface | ENCORE: It's Not the Only Way to Feel Happy | Fear is a Man's Best Friend
The Week That Was have a few dates left on this tour. Catch them if they stop near you:
Mar 11 Canadian Music Week at The Green Room Montreal, Quebec
Mar 12 Canadian Music Week at The Gladstone Hotel Toronto, Ontario
Mar 14 Canadian Music Week at The Mod Club Toronto, Ontario
Mar 15 The Grog Shop Cleveland, Ohio
Mar 18 Friends Bar @ SXSW Austin, Texas
*for about 20 minutes I was going with "less 90125 and more ELP" but I realized I really don't know enough about Yes to pull it off. But the idea was that the more overt Trevor Horn-isms got stripped away. Not that I know that much about Rush either, but I was forced to listen to 2112 enough by friends that I know it when I hear it.