I like almost everything about the debut album from Beyond The Fields. They are a trans-European Celtic-rock band now based in Switzerland featuring a fairly conventional guitar/bass/drums line up with fiddle and mandolin doing the decorating. All the songs are written by lead singer Andre Bollier except Alastair Hulett’s ‘Blue Murder’.
Instrumentally, the band shows a lot of imagination and quite a lot of that is down to Marcel Bollier’s part in the arrangements. I love the reggae edge on ‘The Artist’s Song’, the gypsy violin on ‘Home’ and the dynamicism of ‘Blue Murder’. The original songs are good but now I must confront the one thing I don’t like: Andre’s voice. It reminds me of someone but I can’t quite place who. It is terribly mannered: a nasal punk snarl with all the gravel that Tom Waits couldn’t use, mangling pronunciation in an effort to sound ‘street’.
When he holds the bad habits in check he does a decent job and I go back to ‘Blue Murder’ again. Perhaps because he’s singing someone else’s words he’s more controlled but he almost manages it on ‘Any Time’, too. Here’s the thing: in 2103 Beyond The Fields posted videos of a live show. The line-up was different but the instrumentation is the same and it sounded, well, better. What happened?
So: I like the songs and I like the playing but Andre’s voice continues to spoil the effect. There is no law that dictates that the songwriter has to sing the songs: I heard a rumour that Robbie Robertson’s mic was turned off when The Band were on stage.
Please support us and order via our UK or US Storefront
Physical link for the UK Store is: https://folking.com/folking-store/
Physical link to the US Store: https://folking.com/folking-us-storefront/
Buying through Amazon on folking.com helps us to recover a small part of our running costs, so please order anything you need as every little purchase helps us.
Artists’ website: beyondthefields.com