Words by Abi Whistance

‘Tunes that connect with people have always been the main focus.’ – Grant Nicholas, Feeder

It’s been a pretty wild ride.

With over two decades in the making, Feeder have lived a life long enough to suffer turbulence like you wouldn’t believe; their career tackling the highs and the lows, the riches and the rags. It’s safe to say the Welsh rock stars have been through the wringer, earning them a lifelong place in our hall of fame, even if not in the actual one (yet).

Ups and downs aside, the run-up to the release of their latest album Tallulah has begun, and here at Birmingham Review we wasted no time in pulling frontman Grant Nicholas for a chat.

BR: You have your new record Tallulah coming out on 9th August – what can we expect from the album?

GN: I feel that Tallulah has a bit of a road trip feeling about it in some ways.  Positive, nostalgic and generally pretty uplifting, so hopefully it’ll take the listener on an interesting journey.  It was a really enjoyable album to make and I’ve had time to live with it over the past few months. It feels fresh but still classic Feeder.

BR: So, you’re dubbing Tallulah as a ‘classic Feeder’ record – what about it makes you feel that way?

GN: Feeder has always been about melodies, dynamics and lyrics that tell a story or moment. I think Tallulah has a lot of those key elements and will tick a few boxes for our diehard fans, as well as the new generation of young fans coming to our shows.

BR: It feels like you’ve heavily focused on creating a narrative with this album, and Feeder are known for their storytelling – is this something you’re conscious of when writing?

GN: I generally write with a very visual image and narrative in my head. This is a massive part of the process and as you get older you experience more about life and it fuels a lot of creative ideas. I guess it gives a bigger musical canvas to work with and touches on new subjects and emotions.

BR: With 25 years in the bag, do you think you’ve matured as a band musically? Has your music become a lot more reflective of your own experiences?

GN: I think we know our strengths and at the end of the day it’s always been about the songs. Tunes that connect with people have always been the main focus. That and the dynamic and honesty of the band live and on record is what makes it Feeder.

BR: You’ve got a handful of festivals lined up for the rest of this year, do you see them as an opportunity to get your music out there to a wider audience, especially with the new record on the way?

GN: Doing festivals is always a great way of gaining new fans for any bands or artists. We’re doing less festivals this year as we have the Tallulah album tour coming up in November. Festivals can be so unpredictable at times as you never really know how it’s going to go until you step out onto stage, but when you have a good one the buzz after is something I never grow tired of experiencing. It’s what keeps being in a live band so exciting.

‘Dirty Habit’ – Feeder

Feeder release their tenth studio album, Tallulah, on Friday 9th August – out via BELIEVE, available through all online and traditional music outlets.

Feeder will be playing at the O2 Institute (Birmingham) on Monday 11th November. For direct gig information, including venue details and online ticket sales, visit 

For more on Feeder, visit


NOT NORMAL NOT OK is a campaign to encourage safety and respect within live music venues, and to combat the culture of sexual assault and aggression – from dance floor to dressing room.

To learn more about the NOT NORMAL NOT OK campaign, click here. To sign up and join the NOT NORMAL NOT OK campaign, click here.

If you have been affected by any of the issues surrounding sexual violence – or if you want to report an act of sexual aggression, abuse or assault – click here for information via the ‘Help & Support’ page on the NOT NORMAL NOT OK website.

ALBUM: Joy As An Act Of Resistance – IDLES 31.08.18

IDLES / Lindsay Melbourne

Words by Emily Doyle / Pic by Lindsay Melbourne

I first encountered IDLES at All Years Leaving 2017. They headlined the Sunday night. I have vivid memories of Table Scrap’s Tim Mobbs, who was photographing the show, scrambling over the makeshift crowd barrier in a bid to save his camera from the chaos that erupted as soon as they began playing. A few songs in and I was hooked. These guys weren’t just some Bristolians with that one song about Mary Berry.

The elegantly titled Joy As An Act Of Resistance is IDLES’ second full length release, out from 31st  August on Partisan Records. It opens with the imposing ‘Colossus’, a five-and-a-half minute statement of intent to rival Refused’s ‘New Noise’. Sighing guitars underscore Joe Talbot’s drawl. The track reaches a dissonant crescendo, before unleashing a blast of the shout-along agit-punk that IDLES fans have been waiting for.

Joy As An Act Of Resistance flirts with hardcore and post punk in equal measure, but at its core is an album of protest music. Guttural backing vocals are woven throughout – the radio-friendly pro-immigration anthem ‘Danny Nedelko’ has two word chorus that’s made for a 2am Snobs crowd to chant along to. It’s shamelessly catchy. But throughout the record, guitarists Mark Bowen and Lee Kiernan are there with a double attack of grinding fuzz and shrill stabs to stop the listener getting too comfortable.

It’s Talbot’s lyrics that take centre stage most of the time. Whether it’s personal or political (and more often than not, it’s both) his trademark wit is ever present. Talbot loves to create characters – in the acerbic ‘Never Fight a Man With a Perm’, he describes an unfortunate acquaintance as, “not a man but a gland… one big neck with sausage hands” and a “Topshop tyrant, even your haircut’s violent; you look like you’re from Love Island.” The face of modern masculinity is a fixation for Talbot – in ‘Colossus’ he sings, “I am my father’s son, his shadow weighs a tonne”, while IDLES’ recent single, ‘Samaritans’, dissects the pressures on young men today before dissolving into a chorus of “I kissed a boy and I liked it.”

IDLES rose to prominence singing that, “the best way to scare a Tory is to read and get rich”, and their socialist battle cry shows no signs of going quiet – as Talbot articulates in Joy As An Act Of Resistance’s jaunty ‘I’m Scum’, “this snowflake’s an avalanche.

The record isn’t all angry chanting. IDLES offer up an unhinged rendition of Solomon Burke’s 1961 soul hit ‘Cry To Me’, which nestles strangely comfortably amongst their tales of bravado and Brexit. There’s also space for Talbot to be characteristically raw. IDLES debut album, Brutalism, dealt with the death of his mother. Her portrait featured on the artwork, and a very limited run of the records had her ashes encased in the vinyl itself. On its release, Talbot admitted that, “people are a bit freaked out that this was a person. People are terrified of that physical link with death.” Since Brutalism, Talbot and his partner also lost their daughter, Agatha. In ‘June’, Talbot sings, “a stillborn, still born, I am a father” over a dirge of crackling synths. 

Joy As An Act Of Resistance is poised to cement IDLES as one of the UK’s great punk bands. There’s a seventy date world tour on the horizon too, coming to the O2 Institute in Birmingham on 26th October, and their fanclub on Facebook numbers over seven thousand and counting. Said fanclub call themselves the AF Gang, mostly talking music, mental health, and the poems of Dylan Thomas. IDLES’ influence is spreading, and it can only be a good thing.

‘Samaritans’ – IDLES

IDLES release Joy As An Act Of Resistance on 31st August, out through Partisan Records. For more on IDLES, including links to online sales, visit

IDLES play the O2 Institute in Birmingham on 26th October. For direct gig information, including venue details and online ticket sales, visit


NOT NORMAL – NOT OK is a campaign to encourage safety and respect within live music venues, and to combat the culture of sexual assault and aggression – from dance floor to dressing room.

To sign up to NOT NORMAL – NOT OK, click here. To know more about the NOT NORMAL – NOT OK sticker campaign, click here.