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O2 Academy, Glasgow
Saturday 14th December

Johnny Main: Photos by Carlan Braid

johnny main

fields of the nephilim

"Five fucking times", he said, "Five fucking times I've had tickets for The Nephilim over the past twenty years and they've cancelled every fucking time - if they cancel again tonight, I'm gonnae fucking kill someone!"

This conversation illustrates nicely how rarely this band actually tour – a quick bit of research shows they have played live less than seventy times since 1986 - so there is an almost tangible air of anticipation when the lights go down and the band finally take to the stage. Mr Angry Punter shouldn't have worried, though, as the band put on a performance worthy of a twenty year wait.

As the band appear onstage, there is, understandably, a huge cheer - especially when Carl McCoy (the only static member of the band since its inception in the early 1980s) comes on and without anything sopken from the band to the audience, we're off and running. Well, I say running, but this isn't really a band that does a "show" as such. There's not a lot of onstage action if I'm honest, as the band (seemingly) prefer to let the music do the talking.

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Early sound issues like the bass guitar of Tony Pettit being slightly overpowering and therefore obscuring McCoy's vocals are forgotten quickly as the sound man is on the case. There are no inter-song introductions or chit chat from McCoy during the set, but back to back songs. It's hard to gauge any kind of atmosphere on stage but McCoy lets the occasional smile slip out showing that he might actually be enjoying himself.

'For Her Light' has McCoy's voice booming over the simple drum beat, provided by Lee Newell, and a lyrical guitar combination adding to the experience. McCoy seems to settle down eventually and we're nearly half way through the set before he feels comfy enough to remove his jacket, before having a bit of onstage fun with guitarist Gav King during 'Love Under Will'.


As Newell's drums kick off the intro to 'The Watchman', suddenly the whole venue bursts into life and the dry ice that so many people had expected would envelope the band from beginning to end finally makes an appearance – as expected, it covers the band completely!

A personal favourite of mine, 'Moonchild', follows swiftly before the trio of classic tracks is completed with the addition of 'Psychonaut', which again receives thunderous applause.

The band wrap their set up with 'Last Exit For The Lost' and 'Mourning Sun' with McCoy actively encouraging the crowd by this point – a little too late perhaps? He does, however, get a great response back from a crowd who would be happy if the band played all night. As the latter song finishes, there's a rather curt "Thank You" from McCoy on behalf of the band as they exit that stage leaving a lot of happy old Goths frantically Facebooking and Tweeting about something that many have waited so long to see.


Fields of The Nephilim Set List:
(Dead but Dreaming)
Chord of Souls
For Her Light
At the Gates of Silent Memory
Love Under Will
The Watchman
Last Exit for the Lost
Mourning Sun

Fields of The Nephilim are:
Carl McCoy - Vocals
The Baron – Guitar
Gav King – Guitar
Tony Pettit - Bass
Lee Newell - Drums

Fields of The Nephilim Online:
Official Website:

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