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LIVE: Feeder – O2 Academy, Liverpool, 17/03/2024

Things I don’t really understand about the music biz (part 472): bands who go on tour BEFORE an album comes out. It can’t be much fun for the band who are playing their new songs to people who can’t sing along with them and vice versa.

But here we are, Sunday night in Liverpool, and Feeder are about to do the above, promoting their forthcoming double album, Black/Red.

Unbelievably in existence for 30 years this year, Feeder are one of those who keep going,  just consistently having Top 20 albums (their last 10 have all got there), indicating a much larger fan base than you ever remember them having.

And it’s an ardent bunch that are out in force this evening at a rammed O2 Academy. There are five new songs off the new record available on streaming services so it’s not really all unknown stuff, and it’s one of those, ‘ELF’, that starts proceedings this evening, followed by a meaty ‘Kyoto’ which shows off the skills of one of the two remaining founding members, bassist  Taka Hirose, with his tremendously cool hair and beard combo.

It’s at this point that Feeders’ ability to slip under the radar of the mainstream is brought into sharp focus as a man sidles up to me to ask “is this the support band?”

‘Feeling A Moment’ is indeed the first big moment in a main set that it seems from the outset is not chock full of them. This is not the hits-laden night that the natives were expecting; it’s all head bobbing and polite applause.

Singer Grant Nicholas launches into a quite emotional tirade promoting the concept of physical product, whilst imploring his audience to order this new album.

He then introduces everyone on stage, literally everyone, from the other musicians, to the sound guy, to the bass tech, before dedicating ‘Lost In The Wilderness’ to an eight year old girl on the balcony attending her first ever gig; he does come across as a jolly nice fella.

Amongst the older album tracks, ‘Just The Way I’m Feeling’ re-engages those whose minds are wandering elsewhere, and there’s an instant love for their forthcoming new single ‘Hey You’, with its catchy singalong riff.

As well as the new songs, the Black/Red theme is prevalent all evening, between the lighting and the merch on sale.

The first single, and most recognised song from the new album, ‘Playing With Fire’ is where the night kicks into life, as it’s followed by feisty singles ‘Come Back Around’ and ‘Insomnia’ and for the first time the gig feels like it reaches to the back of the room instead of just the first few rows.

Nicholas implores that we start a mosh pit to celebrate their second ever single ‘Tangerine’, which is a weird juxtaposition for a man clutching what appears to be a cup of tea. (The mosh pit remained non-existent).

Before ‘High’, there’s tales of early US tours using the tour bus of Village People (of all bands) before closing the main set with the unifying indie dance floor classic that everyone knows, ‘Buck Rogers’, which sees people jumping for the first time tonight.

Before the encore, the crowd are chanting the ‘Just A Day’ chorus, but are told ‘you’ll have to wait for that one” as we get yet another new one first before it does inevitably end the evening.

Tonight felt a bit strange, neither a promo for a new record, or a look back on their career. There was a noticeable feeling in the crowd of a lack of the banger singles. Hopefully, it’ll feel a bit more settled when they next come back around (sorry).

Photo: Cheryl Doherty

God is in the TV is an online music and culture fanzine founded in Cardiff by the editor Bill Cummings in 2003. GIITTV Bill has developed the site with the aid of a team of sub-editors and writers from across Britain, covering a wide range of music from unsigned and independent artists to major releases.