Fields of the Nephilim & The Church, Shepherd's Bush Empire, London

Goth Giants stun the faithful with a magnificent London show.

By Robert M Corich

Openers The Church played a reasonably upbeat set which they delivered with the professionalism that one usually expects from these Australian kings of new wave pop. I couldn’t put my finger on it, but the set seemed to lack some of the vibrant intimacy that has been prevalent in their past performances, possibly caused by the absence of founder member Marty Willson-Piper. Personally, I have seen them deliver far better sets yet this was still more than acceptable. Starfish tracks Destination and Under The Milky Way remain the crowdpleasers.

The brilliance of making doom and gloom a musical art-form was apparent from the first growing notes of Harmonica Man, segueing into Preacher Man and the mystic entry of the enigmatic Carl McCoy onto his fog laden stage. Thundering instrumentation, combined with McCoys distinctive vocals, enraptured their dedicated army of fans who were clearly here for the unique musical experience that only this band can provide.

Enthralling to say the least, I have never seen this band deliver a bad gig and tonight is no exception. Sleazy cowboy gear, long dark coats, masses of dry ice swirling over the stage through penetrating floodlights; the only thing missing from the brilliant gigs of nearly thirty years ago were the bags of flour being flung about.

Delivering a crowd pleasing set, McCoy and his band gave the crowd wonderful versions of Moonchild, Psychonaught, Prophecy and a blistering version of Dawnrazor to name a few.

Stunning gig by a still brilliant band that, in my experience, has never failed to deliver. Years on from their heyday, they remain a joy to see. Let’s hope for new material and more concerts soon; that would be a Prophecy fulfilled indeed.