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One-off performance leads to a tour of UK; A musical commission for a Northumberland arts festival is drifting happily further afield for a series of UK screenings. SAM WONFOR reports.


IN 2013, Berwick Film & Media Arts Festival commissioned Sunderland's Mercury Prize nominated, Field Music, to compose a new cinematic score to accompany a seminal silent documentary, Drifters, by John Grierson.

The commission was performed live as a one-off event at the Festival by the band's brotherly twosome, Peter and David Brewis and their band, to much applause.

Such was the reaction that the performance for which it was commissioned was never going to be the end of the story.

And so it has transpired that audiences across the UK will get to enjoy the same experience over the next couple of months.

Screenings of Drifters, with live accompaniment by Field Music, will be coming to cinemas in Newcastle, Glasgow, Swansea, Belfast and Dublin during April and June. The first of these will be at the Tyneside Cinema, Newcastle on April 24.

Not only that but having spent autumn of last year revisiting the score in their Wearside studio, Field Music will release Music for Drifters as part of this year's Record Store Day.

Pressed on silver colour LP, Music for Drifters is the first completely instrumental recording made by Field Music, and will be available exclusively via local record stores on April 18. It's likely to be a popular request for vinyl lovers as with this composition, Field Music have created something truly unique and beautifully befitting of this critically acclaimed documentary.

Drifters, which Drifters originally premiered in 1929 alongside Eisenstein's Battleship Potemkin, was created by John Grierson - a pioneering Scottish filmmaker known for coining the term 'documentary.' The film follows the working day of a herring fishing fleet as they set sail from the Shetland Islands to battle the elements of the North Sea fishing grounds.

Over the last 10 years, Field Music have released four full-length albums and toured around the world. This tour reunites the original line-up of Peter, David and Andrew Moore.

David Brewis says: "It's incredibly exciting to be given the opportunity to tour Drifters as writing and performing the original commission for Berwick Film & Media Arts Festival in 2013 was a true pleasure, culminating in a wonderful evening.

"We are delighted that we can do it all again at some truly lovely cinemas and art spaces around the country."

Tickets for the April 24 screening at the Tyneside Cinema are available from the box office on 0845 217 9909 or online at

We are delighted that we can do it all again at some truyly lovely cinemas around the countryDavid Brewis


John Grierson, Scottish film documentary maker

Field Music have composed and will play a live soundtrack to the 1929 documentary Drifters

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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Apr 13, 2015
Next Article:Name the Year.

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