Rough Fields aka James Birchall
This weekend’s live pick from Team Freshnet’s Manchester correspondent

Well here I am looking for another gig to recommend if you’re at a loose end in Manchester this weekend, and to be honest, there’s not that much to choose from. Well that was until I stumbled across some bloke called  Rough Fields playing at one of my favourite local venues, The Castle Hotel.

Now the Castle is a ‘proper’ pub if ever there was one and it’s a joy to drink in. It’s made up of three tiny rooms and has been in existence for over 200 years. It’s Victorian tiles and mosaic floors set it apart from nearly all other city centre hostelries and venues. And get this for musical patronage, John Peel even interviewed Joy Division’s Ian Curtis there too. So next time your in Manc make sure you get yourself in for a pint and if you’re lucky a gig might just be happening in the tiny back room. A memorable show for me was seeing Fiction with support from Films (now called ALT-J).

Even though Rough Fields (AKA James Birchall) is from Manchester i’m afraid to say I had not heard of him before, but as soon as I saw the video I was drawn in. In fact I’m sat here now listening again and could quite easily just kick back and stop writing this, but I won’t, well for another minute or two anyway. There’s a good mix of styles in Rough Fields’ music, but overall it’s just a pleasure to. So this Saturday night I heartily recommend sipping on a decent pint of mixed (half dark mild half bitter for those who don’t know) in the salubrious surroundings of The Castle Hotel while watching Rough Fields.

Unfortunately I’ve just had word that this gig has been cancelled, so my hopes of heading down to see my newly discovered act have been thwarted. I’ll be keeping my eye out for the next time he plays round my neck of the woods for sure.

Simon Poole

Well this is probably the worst way to start off a biog of about myself, but the first thing I should admit to is that I’ve got some terrible taste in music. But panic not, I love music and my varied taste ranges from the bad to really great new music out there, and it is the latter I want to share with you at Fresh On The Net. Find out more...


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