Feeder return to rock the Lemmy
Chris Luck reviews Feeder in the latest live gig at the Lemmy (cider sold separately)
Shuffling on-stage sporting a suit jacket and slicked-back hair, Grant Nicholas’ look seemed to highlight how much his band has changed over the years. Gone was the edgy styling synonymous with 1997’s post-grunge Polythene – indeed, no songs from this album featured. Instead, Feeder presented themselves as a cleaner and more mature ensemble, but also one initially unsure of itself. From Nicholas’ opening words, “let’s see if we can still do this”, to the hiccough mid-way through at the start of ‘Feeling A Moment’ – a stalwart of previous set lists – there were indications of a tentative and nervy night’s music ahead.
Nerves were to be expected, though, as Feeder used tonight to showcase new tracks from their to-be-released eighth studio album, 'Generation Freakshow'. Playing only new songs for the first half-hour, they at least showed confidence in trying out previously untested music. Particular highlights included the anthemic first single, Borders, and the title track from said album, both featuring signature guitar-heavy choruses and echoing verses.
They weren’t doing anything groundbreaking, but this ‘rock-by-numbers’ approach certainly worked for Feeder on the night, with the capacity crowd getting right behind them. With the audience won over their performance gained poise. Nicholas relaxed more, whilst Taka Hirose (bass) became noticeably more active on stage. A fizz of anticipation rippled through the crowd as soon as the openings riff of ‘Buck Rogers’ sounded, which turned to a deafening roar of “DEVON” when the expected line arrived.
The night had an intimate feel, a trait shared with their previous Renegades tour in 2010. Despite any nerves that Nicholas may have hinted at, the band delivered a stellar set to please Feeder enthusiasts and newcomers alike, and with eventual aplomb. Part of me wanted to see them venture outside their comfort zone, having seen them pull off a great cover of Nirvana’s Breed during the aforementioned tour. Nevertheless, there was never a quiet moment without either the band or the audience making an appreciable amount of noise. Definitely one to look out for during festival season.