Partly due to Covid, but also due to just following other interests I hadn’t actually been to a big gig proper since 2018, funnily enough at the very same venue watching Garbage on their Version 2.0 Tour. Even more interestingly, my husband and I’s first ever gig together was Feeder at Brixton Academy, all the way back in 2003 on their Comfort in Sound Tour- can you believe that is 19 years ago now?? We decided maybe it was about time we ventured out for a gig again!
We arrived fairly early and managed to get a perfect spot, roughly in the middle, close enough to be where the crowd would be enjoying themselves more, but just far enough away in case of mosh pit chaos, which to be honest I didn’t think was going to be something to worry about at a Feeder gig.
The first support act was Grungers who came out declaring “We play rock n roll!” and they sure had the enthusiastic energy to match, however they weren’t for me, as I didn’t really feel they were playing anything out of the ordinary to draw me in enough.
Up next was the second support act of the night The Wild Things who I was intrigued to see after my husband, who hosts his own internet rock show, had recommended them. They have been getting a lot of positive press from Kerrang, Classic Rock Magazine and even BBC Radio One. Pete Townsend of the Who has produced and played on their second album Afterglow. Having a bit of a penchant myself for female led bands and all this high praise, I was not disappointed as they played a blistering set of rock music filled with energy and fun. It was even singer Sydney Rae and guitarist Rob Kendrick’s five year anniversary- what a way to spend it!
Finally it was time for Feeder. As they stepped on, starting with recent single ‘The Healing’ the crowd went mad, and this single, although only released earlier this year, had obviously been taken to fans’ hearts as the mass sing-alongs had already begun. Maybe there was a collective resonance with the lyrics which I can definitely relate to the world experiences of the last few years:
“Hands lifted high for the healing
A feeling of warmth and new life (life)
The world that we know may be bleeding
But we still have time”
My personal favourite song from Torpedo, ‘Magpie’ came blistering next and it was hearing it live that made me realise Feeder can totally do heavy music when they want to! They played quite a few from the latest album before they played an older classic ‘Just the Way I’m Feeling’ from their Comfort in Sound album. Considering I always think of this as a fairly mellow song, it was during this song that suddenly beer started flying in the audience, which really caught me by surprise! It was also an even bigger sing along than ‘The Healing’ had been!
The later part of the set was dedicated to even older classics from their 1997 album Polythene and it was in this later part you could really see this audience seemed to be long-term fans as all these songs got a huge reaction. My favourite song from this album, and also my favourite song of all time ‘High’ was the final song and the sense of unity as it seemed every single person in the audience sang along, including a part where singer Grant Nicholas let the audience sing was amazing. It felt emotional for me on many levels, my love for the song, but also that feeling of reconnection with a large crowd, live music and almost relief to life becoming ‘normal’ again at last.
Of course there had to be encore, which started with the song ‘Buck Rodgers’ which apparently they had decided not to play on this tour, but then realised it was indeed the song that broke them into the mainstream so they thought ‘Fuck it, let’s play it’ and indeed they did, followed by ‘Just A Day’, a song I just can’t listen to without smiling.
Afterwards I walked out with a renewed zest, not just for the band, who I walked out feeling they had totally surpassed my expectations, but for live music. A fantastic night!
Find out more on Feeder’s official website
Review and Photography by Hayley Foster Da Silva