Words by Eleanor Sutcliffe / Pics by Phil Drury
“Satisfying but damaging in the long run.”
This is how, on the walk to the O2 Academy, my friend described my life decisions. Worryingly, it applies to most aspects of myself – my career, university, my student diet (sorry mum). It also applies to my music taste. Once I discover a band I love I can very easily run their music into the ground by playing them on repeat, which is exactly what I did with Feeder’s Echo Park album after my dad played it to me when I was younger.
Since then, I’ve viewed the band rather like how you’d see your distant relatives – comforting and nostalgic to begin with, but monotonous when listened to for hours on end. However, when Feeder announced a Best Of tour it only seemed fair to drop in and see if, after all these years, they still knew how to fire up a crowd.
Walking up to O2 Academy, I was stunned to see there was no queue. Had we come on the wrong day? Was security being surprisingly efficient on this particular Wednesday evening? Peeking our heads through the doors, we were greeted with a sight that would make even the most seasoned performer feel queasy – a half empty main room. Undeterred, we grabbed a drink from the bar and wandered through the sparse crowd to catch the support act.
First on were Sweet Little Machine, who won their support slot through a competition with Kerrang! Unsurprising really, as they reminded me of a reincarnation of Green Day just with better hair. Their singer coaxed the room into multiple singalongs – hardly a laborious task, considering most of the songs sounded the same. And yet, their charming demeanour swayed both me and the crowd, with song titles such as ‘Dickwad Prickface’ resulting in inexplicable laughter.
It’s clear to see that Feeder’s fanbase have not gone AWOL as we had predicted. On the contrary, as soon as Feeder took to the stage, the room suddenly swarmed with fans singing and dancing. Maybe booking 02 Academy’s main room wasn’t such a bad idea after all.
When Feeder announce a best of show, make yourselves comfortable – because you’re not leaving for a while. With a mammoth 24 song set you’re pretty much guaranteed to hear a song you know, even if you’re as forgetful and unobservant as I am. Of course, signature songs such as ‘Buck Rogers’ and ‘Just the Way I’m Feeling’ went down a treat, but so did Feeder’s new material such as ‘Figure You Out’ which made it midway into the main set.
Visually the show was incredible too, with three large screens displaying various video clips that reminded me, nostalgically, of the kaleidoscope style clips I used to watch on Windows media player when I growing up. For a main room show, it was surprisingly personal too. Feeder‘s frontman and singer, Grant Nicholas, let the crowd choose between ‘Crash’ and ‘Cement’, candidly explaining the stories behind some of the bands most famous songs, from the writing to memorable performances.
Finishing their encore with their now iconic track ‘Just A Day’, it was clear to see why Feeder are still as popular as they were back in the 90’s. With a room teeming with fans both young and old, their music is as addictive now as it ever was. Which means I’m back to playing Echo Park on repeat for the next six weeks. Again.
Feeder @ O2 Academy 14.03.18 / Phil Drury – Birmingham Review
For more on Feeder, visit www.feederweb.com
Sweet Little Machine – supporting Feeder @ O2 Academy 14.03.18 / Phil Drury – Birmingham Review
For more on Sweet Little Machine, visit www.soundcloud.com/sweetlittlemachine
For more from Kilimanjaro Live, including further event listings and online ticket sales, visit www.kilimanjarolive.co.uk
For more on the O2 Academy Birmingham, including venue details and further event listings, visit www.academymusicgroup.com/o2academybirmingham