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Field Music have made a concept album exploring the ways in which ripples from the First World War played out through the 20th century and even beyond. Jonathan Wright hears exactly why and how they did it

The guns on the Western Front fell silent on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, 1918. Th e First World War, a confl ict of mechanised barbarism that claimed the lives of 20 million combatants and civilians, and perhaps even more, was finally over.

It’s a moment in time captured in the most poignant fashion in a document from the archives of the Imperial War Museums (IWM), a 1919 publication on the subject of munitions by the US War Department. It shows a graph that represents a soundranging image based on readings from transducers spread out across the front. Th e idea was that, by looking at the time diff erence between a boom hitting each transducer – essentially a glorified oil drum – it was possible to work out where enemy guns were located.

“Incredibly, someone had set their soundranging machine away a minute before the Armistice, so you had this image of a minute of the guns going from 10.59 on the 11th of November, and then a minute afterwards where it’s relative silence,” explains David Brewis, guitarist, songwriter and one half of the brotherly duo who are the musical mainstays of Field Music.

As to how David and brother Peter, drummer and fellow songwriter, encountered this image, it was because IWM approached the duo to get involved in events to commemorate the aftermath of the First World War

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About Long Live Vinyl

ISSUE 35 of Long Live Vinyl is now on sale! In our first issue of 2020 we bring you the inside story of Bob Dylan's most diverse, divisive and fascinating decade – the 1970s. Dylan made eight hugely different studio albums in those 10 years, and we've rounded up some of his closest confidants and bandmates to tell the tale. It's a must-read for any fan of Mr Zimmerman. Elsewhere in issue 35, our packed interviews section features Angel Olsen, Seth Lakeman, The Go-Betweens, Field Music, DJ Shadow and Courteeners, plus we take an in-depth look at The Doors' Morrison Hotel and meet the music fanatics behind America's coolest label group – Secretly Canadian. If that's not enough, we bring you 40 essential folk-rock classics, a guide to building your perfect hi-fi setup in 2020 and the usual eclectic mix of vinyl columnists, news and reviews. Long Live Vinyl is THE magazine for vinyl lovers.