Fields of the Nephilim + The Church @ Shepherds Bush Empire, London

Date: 31st October 2018
Review and Photography: Ryan Whitwell / ShotisonMedia

Gothic rock was on the menu in Shepherd’s Bush this Halloween, with two veterans of the genre taking the stage to perform for a packed crowd.

First on the bill were The Church. These guys had a good mix of numbers of differing tones, and also a mix of guitars, including a subtle but effective bit of acoustic behind the two electric six strings.

Reptile got a bit of a cheer once that simple but effective little riff kicked in. I liked this one, a bit of a toe tapper with a nice quick paced drum beat and plenty of hi-hat building to a little crescendo guitar solo before bringing that simple riff back in.

Overall the tone had a macabre edge about it, which I got through the vocals, a bit of a depressed tone with those lyrics, they don’t leave much in the sunshine and rainbows catagory.

I spotted a bit of swaying in the crowd during Milky Way. It’s a laid back number that had a bit of levity to it thanks to two 12 string acoustic guitars in the band. A nice shift in tone before ending the set with Miami, which promoted a bit of a clap along during the outro.

The Church Setlist:

Destination
Tantalized
Ripple
Century
Reptile
Toyhead
Milky Way
Miami

A while after The Curch had left the stage, darkness fell. A thunderous rumbling vibrates through the auditorium. Two lights at the back of the stage reach out through the thick fog as some silhouettes of men with guitars emerge.

Front man, Carl McCoy, walked out after the “Harmonica Man” intro with the crowd behind me cheering as Preacher Man started to kick out from the PA. He growled through the set with clarity being on point when he needed it to be, great vocal performance from the guy.

Plenty of back lighting and smoke kept an air of mystery, which would be nice if I wasn’t required to take photos. The thick fog remained present throughout the set with only the colour of the back lights altering. I stood at the back for the second half and the lights and colour did look good, even if you couldn’t see the drummer.

A few die hard fans that knew all the words were in attendance, with hands raising on cue and a few dancers in the main throng of people.

Moonchild got a great response, with people raising hands and really getting into it, even at the back of the auditorium.

FotN Setlist:

Harmonica Man
Preacher MAn
Trees Come DOwn
Endemoniada
Love Under Will
Dawn Razor
Watchman
Moonchild
Psychonaut
Last Exit

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