THE GUARDIAN (LONDON) AUGUST 3, 1990
by Caroline Newman
FIELDS Of The Nephilim had a habit regrettably now abandoned of affecting a just-off-the-prairie feel by sprinkling themselves with flour to approximate the look of trail dust. The link between the cowpoke image and their deeply Gothic music was never very clear, but the synthesis of the two elements incited a hail of derision from non-converts that continues to this day.
However, their massive following sees them as enigmatic philosophers and their records murky-sounding epics riddled with occult symbolism as atmospheric Goth statements. Give the fans their due: the Neffs are much better live than on LP. At a gig like this you could begin to understand the attraction.
The stage at the Astoria was shrouded in dry ice, evoking a nightmarish quality that was heightened by the woozy, bass-laden music. The singer, Carl McCoy, was a half-discernible shadow figure, immobile over a microphone. The lyrics were indecipherable, intoned in a mantric mumble, but their content was amply conveyed. The songs were all long. It was, no doubt about it, mesmerising after a while.
McCoy eschewed the customary practice of announcing song titles that, presumably, would have been unenigmatic but in any case it was not necessary. The audience Bonanzas, in Nephilim parlance, were transported by heat and the hypnotic rumble of the music. A sea of outstretched hands flexed slowly in peculiar Neff dance.
'I suppose we look ludicrous, but I'd rather do this than anything else,' said a sopping wet Bonanza. Take heed. Fields Of The Nephilim are starting to have hit singles now. World domination seems a distinct possibility.