Sunday, October 9, 2011

What A Feeling!

On Friday night (that's October 7th, 2011, for anybody reading this from the future) I went to see The Feeling play at the HMV Institute in Birmingham. In case anybody doesn't know who I'm talking about, here's the first single, Sewn, from their first album, Twelve Stops and Home, released in 2006:

I've seen them once before, at the Roadmender in Northampton. That gig was a pre-album tour of smaller venues in which the band tried out some tracks from their soon-to-be third album, Together We Were Made (released in June 2011), the first single from which being Set My World on Fire:

I was tempted along to the Birmingham concert based on my memories of the Northampton gig: The Feeling are a multi-talented band, with most of the members playing a variety of instruments throughout the performance (lead singer Dan Gillespie Sells plays guitar on most tracks, but also plays piano now and then, and even took over bass guitarist duties from bassist Richard Jones for part of one song (who was busy playing drums alongside Paul Stewart at the time).

Both performances were more than just a bunch of guys playing some music: at the Roadmender, the guys were lively and animated as they played, and filled the stage at all times. In Birmingham, the concert was noticeably more lavishly produced, with choreographed routines and projections on a screen behind the band, which included visual effects, pre-recorded video (the concert started with some fan-made vids from Youtube) and inventive use of live video.

Despite some PA issues (there were a few incidents of feedback, and apparently the sound guys were wrestling with the volume controls all night), the performance was a treat from start to finish with a good mixture of new tracks and old favourites, and even a cover of Paul Simon's You Can Call Me Al thrown in too. Starting an encore set with I Thought It Was Over is a stroke of genius, but I was expecting it because they did it in Northampton too.

And as a special, if dubious, treat for anyone who's continued reading this far, another video. This isn't a music video, however; it's one of me being interviewed outside the HMV Institute whilst queueing to get in. It's more than a little cringeworthy, but I'm including it because I have no shame.