The Playing Fields

The Playing Fields

 London, England, GBR
BandAlternativeRock

"What might happen if Lou Reed and H. P. Lovecraft met in a pub one dark and gloomy night and decided to form a band. Some of the most hauntingly-poetic music & lyrics ever to grace a debut - or for that matter, platinum - album." (Music4M)

Biography

The Playing Fields are a London based band who released their debut album "Hello New World" on the CactiShed Record label in 2007. The second album "Hungry Ghosts" is scheduled for release in early 2012.

Settling on the name The Playing Fields in 2003/4, brothers Stephen & Michael Bland and bassist Jeff Baskett continued to forge a unique sound, dark, intense pieces fixed with beautifully melodious song-writing. In 2005 the band honed their performance skills with many gigs and a succession of drummers. The songs developed in complexity and with a harder rythmic drive. An acoustic version of their song "Valley of Salt" was featured on BBC TV's Hustle.

Joined by drummer Ron Rosenblum & violinist Hannah Sless, the band recorded their debut LP "Hello New World" at The SickRoom Studios with Owen Turner from Magoo . The album was mastered by Kramer (from Second Shimmy Label/Galaxie 500/Lou Reed/Yo La Tengo fame). In December 2006 the album's title track featured at number 7 on the Dandelion Radio continuation of the John Peel festive fifty list.

In 2007 the album hit the shops through CactiShed...Records, disrtibuted by Shellshock/Backs, receiving near unanimous fantastic reviews. 2007 gig highlights included a UK and European tour including the Camden Crawl, being supported by Metric, headlining at Dingwalls & a successful stint @ the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. A single from the LP hit the shops on November 5, 2007.

Joined by ex-Brian Jonestown Massacre & current Swervedriver drummer Graham Bonnar, the band are curretly putting the final touches to their follow up LP, provisionally titled "Hungry Ghosts" and due for release in 2012.

Press "A record of dark, intense melody driven tunesmithery that oozes atmosphere." (Fused Magazine)

"Their brilliant debut album is a mesmerizing journey which will have you captivated from start to finish." (107FM The Bee, featured artist of the week)

"The band’s sound is... what might happen if Lou Reed and H. P. Lovecraft met in a pub one dark and gloomy night and decided to form a band. Some of the most hauntingly-poetic lyrics ever to grace a debut - or for that matter, platinum - album." (Music4M)

"Near perfect gorgeous plainsong harmonies...lush," (Spill)

"Blew me away, absolutely stunning... one of the best albums of 2006. Should be played up and down on every alternative station around the globe. So much atmosphere, I hardly could believe it... breathtaking; it’s so irresistible and catchy (they) must have sold their souls to the devil." (Kontrast FM Radio)

"Dark, melodic tunesmiths," (The Guardian)

"Melody-drenched indie pop," (Time Out)

"Melancholic melodies with style and arreting honesty." (Bubblegum Slut Magazine)

"A very strong first record deserving of mainstream media attention. It’s been a long time since an unknown band has appeared on my radar and completly surprised me. Depth and complexity, dark & menacing... Great stuff!" (Rock Beat Stone)

"Just the right blend of melody and passion... Wow!" (Acrylic Tom Tom)

"Outstanding... The CD sounds incredible, absolutely brilliant!" (The Playing Fields, Artist of the week, twice, Artists of the year 2006, Christopher Laird show, Radio Nowhere)

"Welding a tuneful melody to the observational verve of a Smog or Will Oldham... Great" (Dandelion Radio, Artist of the Month December 2006) (Number 7 in "John Peel" festive fifty list)

"An album that looms at you from out of the shadows and proceeds to beat you with dark melody, cutting lyrics and burning fiddle. Hypnotic is a word too often used these days, but what do you say when something genuinely is... truly mesmerising." (Fatea)

"Excellently crafted with real passion... Each instrument resonates an ambience that had me fixed, and the minutes seemed to disappear in seconds. The Playing Fields brought a refreshingly reflective vibe to my urban landscape and I could imagine this track being played in any scene of a film where the protagonists have parted." (Music On Air)

"Passion and drive... taking you to a high crescendo of emotion." (TotalSpec Magazine)

"Stunningly well crafted song-writing, alarming in it’s depth and darkness, the songs billow from the speakers like a dense musical fog engulfing all who dare stand in it’s way. The record defies comparison, hynotises and mesmerises... a lush carpet of brooding soundscapes." (Fuse Magazine)

"A rare sense of depth, both lyrically and instrumentally... irresistable melodic diversity is sown into the entire bredth of this collection of songs... it’s easy to get excited about this band." (NME)

"Uh-Oh. Sweet Jesus. WOW. these are GREAT songs." (Kramer)

"Tight, focused and forward.. with tremendous string accompaniment which could make your heart melt. We love it.. as if our ears requested this especially. There is nothing better than feeling happy about a great album you have heard today. Brighten up your tomorrow by buying Hello New World." (Unearthed Trasure

Lyrics

Four Hours

Written By: Steve Bland/ Mike Bland

Four Hours

There’s no winning, there’s no glory,
Just an old familiar story;
I have grown you skin black flowers,
It’s the answer to my hours.

I can see you in the courtyard,
Where the ground windows are all barred;
And the crack-heads keep on screaming,
Like an answer to my dreaming.

All hope is lost
In under four hours.

Take me back to your apartment,
Let me see the gifts that I sent;
They may prove that there was something,
Filled this space for there was nothing.

Check the dates upon your calendar,
This way I can malinger.
Like the river through the canyon,
Could you be my one companion?

All hope is lost
In under four hours.

The Victorious Parade

Written By: Steve Bland

The Victorious Parade

Every cliché comes true when you're lonely,
There are storm clouds for endings & sunshine for beginnings;
The victorious parade whilst you end up in the gutter,
Or stranded in some bar staring at some other.

Come darling, don’t come,
But just don’t leave me alone.
Scream darling, don’t scream,
You know you’re killing me

The rain blows in through open glass doors,
& there's nowhere to shelter from it anymore;
& the summer's forgotten though it's only July
In the snow-globe of your kisses & your lies.

Every cliché comes true when you're lonely.

You said there is still life if you want there to be,
There are things I could give, could you give them to me?
But all the constructs you already knew to be untrue
Rear up their heads, bear their teeth & devour you.

There are signs that others have been here before,
Like skeletons stacked against unbolted doors,
Who were still in love though they knew they were alone
So pulled down the other to build up a home.

But still I wanted to forget,
Your hair on my clothes like the smell of happiness;
There are truths within the silences no matter how small,
I just so wanted to hear you say anything at all.

Come darling, don’t come,
But just don’t leave me alone.
Scream darling, don’t scream,
You know you’re killing me

Every cliché comes true when you're lonely.

Suddenly it Matters

Written By: Steve Bland

Suddenly it Matters

A fire on the lake,
The sirens scream;
Cinder your memories
Like ash in the air.

Suddenly it matters what time it is.

What can I say?
Are you scared in the sheets?
Here’s what I think,
Blame me to sleep.

Suddenly it matters what time it is.

I’m moving slowly
Through your rage tonight,
And even your silences
Could burn me alive.

Hello New World

Written By: Steve Bland

Hello, New World...

Awaiting the L from Hospital, Chicago is
Cold tonight, lake view like crimped sheets
Under moonlight.

She thinks of her father as a train wreck,
Riding his rollercoaster towards death, and
They speak in a twist of languages,
Speed winding in her stomach round
All the bends.

(& all you'll ever see is you looking back at me.
& all you'll ever see is you looking back at me.)

I’d seen her collection of childhood toys,
Glass animals sharp and cracked, thrown
Into ungainly flight in a fit of her
Mother’s religious pique, symptoms of
The old world, their broken limbs like
Symbols of the new.

Hello, new world, hello.
Hello city lights.
Hello, new world, hello.
Hello city lights.

Let’s never go back to your mother’s house,
I joke, I plead, I pray; let’s cut to
The L in circles, or ride
The northbound freeway, let's make our escape.

Let’s never see the Chicago moon again.
Let’s never see the Chicago moon again.

Hello, new world, hello.
Hello city lights.
Hello, new world, hello.
Hello city lights.

There's blood on the lake tonight,
We're dying inside...

Static at Curtain Call

Written By: Mike Bland


Static at Curtain Call

My inside
Has been retired;
I’m still
Under construction.

But you know what they say,
A hollow vessel makes the most sound.
These words of a semblance
Rattle around and come tumbling out.

Only twice as loud,
And without any meaning;
A stifled cadence,
Of thought, and it’s lost.

‘Cause I’m losing
Any feeling at all;
Flying into small storms
Then folding and falling.

Like static
At curtain call.

But you know what they say,
A hollow vessel makes the most sound.
These words of a semblance
Rattle around and come tumbling out.

Like static
At curtain call.

Discography

Albums:

Hungry Ghosts (scheduled for release 2012)

Hello New World (CactiShed Records 2007)

Tracks:
Nonesuch Nameless
Sylvia Thompson
The Girl in the Machine
Drawings
Valley of Salt
Lights Out
Protect the Humans
Glass & Concrete
Simply Confused
Hello, New World

Singles

Glass & Concrete/ Protect the Humans (Double A-side, CactiShed Records 2007)

EP:
Firefly Tailights (2006)

Significant airplay garnered, please see press in bio section.