Field Music's David Brewis to bring new album and orchestra to The Customs House

Sunderland’s David Brewis, of Field Music fame, is adding another string to his bow with a new album and orchestra.
David Brewis to bring his new release, Soft Struggles, to The Customs House, South ShieldsDavid Brewis to bring his new release, Soft Struggles, to The Customs House, South Shields
David Brewis to bring his new release, Soft Struggles, to The Customs House, South Shields

The acclaimed Wearside musician brings his new album and a ten-piece band to The Customs House in South Shields on May 6.

The album, titled The Soft Struggles, was released in February, garnering glowing reviews in the national music press before reaching number 6 in the Official Folk Albums Chart.

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While Field Music have long been known for their commitment to music in Sunderland, brothers Peter and David have a long history with South Shields and South Tyneside.

They both went to school in Whitburn before studying music at South Tyneside College. Their earliest musical forays included regular gigs at the much-missed Turks Head, and they even brought an early incarnation of the Field Music band to The Office (then The Vic) in the early 2000s.

“It feels a bit like coming back full circle.” said David, “especially as I’ve only played on the stage at The Customs House once before, as part of a college performance way back in 1997. I have such a soft spot for the town. I made so many friends here while I was at college - people who introduced me to tons of music I would never have heard otherwise and in lots of ways showed me how to be in a band.

"I also think the North East music scene should make better use of independent, community-focused venues like The Customs House. You can tell that the people running it do so with real dedication and passion.”

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David’s new album veers away from Field Music’s eclectic soundworld towards a softer, jazz-inflected, acoustic palette.

Several of the tracks were built around a single day of live recording at Field Music’s studio in Sunderland, with David’s brother Peter on drums, Sarah Hayes (of Admiral Fallow and You Tell Me) on piano and flute and Faye MacCalman (Archipelago) on clarinet and saxophone.

Additional contributions came from up-and-coming Sunderland singer Eve Cole and the string quartet of Ed Cross, Jo Montgomery, Chrissie Slater, and Ele Leckie, all of whom will be onstage for the performance next month.

David and the musicians are also performing in Leeds at the Howard Assembly Room and at Kings Place in London before David and Peter return to Sunderland to work on the next releases on their recently founded Daylight-Saving Records label.

:: David Brewis and Orchestra, supported by Norwegian songwriter Juni Habel, appear at The Customs House on Saturday 6th May. The

show commences at 7:30pm. Tickets are priced from £16 and available online at, from the box office in person or on (0191) 454 1234.