Hot on the heels of their 11th studio album, Torpedo, Feeder bring a tantalising line up to Birmingham’s O2 Institute. Those lucky enough to negotiate Digbeth’s relentless roadworks and arrive early enough are treated to a hard hitting set from locals King Herd who are currently making a big impression following some key live dates, supporting Reef and a noteable set at Winter’s End Festival along with the release of their singles ‘Remedy’ and ‘Medicine’. Both of those songs get an airing tonight which should be familiar to Planet Rock listeners who have been championing the band fronted by former Raven Vandelle singer David Taylor.
Taylor tells us that a debut album is on its way and cranking out riff heavy tracks such as ‘Halo’ & ‘Not The Same’ reaffirm the hard rock with a modern edge approach the band are taking and promises to be something to look out for.
Next up are London’s The Wild Things who kick off with ‘Loaded Gun’; a wall of summery punk pop. Frontwoman Sydney Rae White is dwarfed by her Firebird but has presence and commanding vocals. When she pushes and holds the high notes there’s a touch of Alanis Morisette to her vocals. ‘Only Attraction’ and ‘Tripping’ have a loose laid back feel to them that would go down well at festivals. In fact they’re exactly the sort of cool modern band the BBC would be falling over themselves to interview and cover at the likes of Glastonbury. With Pete Townshend singing their praises, I sense we’ll be hearing a lot more of them over the coming months.
If you’ve yet to hear Feeder‘s new offering, Torpedo, then the start of this gig is going to be unfamiliar territory as they lead off with a trio of numbers off the album. First off is ‘The Healing’ which starts off with their trademark expansive sound before dropping into a heavy middle section. ‘Magpie’ offers up more of the same before the uplifting ‘Born To Love You’.
“This one goes out to Black Sabbath” announces Grant Nicholas as they launch into ‘Torpedo’, which sounds particularly heavy and has more than a touch Geezer Butler’s doomy bass riffery to it. Marvellous stuff that harks back to very early Feeder. After some band introduction we’re hit with the contrasting and anthemic ‘Tallulah’ and by the time they follow with ‘Just The Way I’m Feeling’ the crowd are in full voice almost drowning out Nicholas’ vocals.
Its at this point that it seems the gig has hit a new high and there’s little encouragement needed for the crowd to chant along to the chorus on the superb ‘Fear Of Flying’. Nicholas says that he feels that the band have come full circle with the new album, so seems appropriate that they play some early stuff, and then delights old school fans with a couple of Polythene favourites; ‘Radiation’ and ‘My Perfect Day’.
‘Insomnia’, ‘High’ were anthems for a generation of kids in the late 90s and two decades later they still lead to moments of youthful abandonment 20 years on and the break before the encore seems to provide a break for the crowd as much as the band before the final salvo of ‘Buck Rogers’ (“we weren’t going to play this , but as it’s an important anniversary we thought we’d better”) and ‘Just A Day’ sees one final eruption of dancing, flying beer and signing with every soul from the barrier to the rear joining in and ensuring everyone went home having had a thoroughly entertaining night.dancing or singing along.
Born to Love You
Feeling a Moment
Just the Way I’m Feeling
Fear of Flying
When It All Breaks Down
My Perfect Day
Just a Day