Caught between the encroaching decline of Britpop and the mid 00’s indie explosion, Feeder flirted with indie respectability but are a sweaty hard rock band at heart. On stage in Leeds they fully commit to the latter – and in scintillating style.
Given that Feeder have been around more than twenty years it’s surprising how fresh and revitalising their music is to hear. Perhaps because hard rock is so entirely swabbed from the pop zeitgesit, or perhaps because they know these songs better than anyone. Feeder’s set is raw, and that’s what the crowd who pack out the O2 in Leeds are looking for.
‘Renegades’ is an early highlight, demonstrating founding singer / guitarist Grant Nicholas’ surprising knack for pop hooks. Followed by ‘Pushing the Senses’ and ‘Lost & Found’, it rounds of a heavy opening, before some lighter fare quiets the storm. Of the slower songs, ‘Piece by Piece’, one of many hidden gems on Echo Park, provides a narcotised calm.
The set dressing is standard, but effective. The iconography of their early releases flashes on large LCD screens, whilst strobes blast the moshing throng. ‘Come Back Around’ – a highly underrated comeback tune – crackles with life, while ‘My Perfect Day’ is dedicated to former drumer Jon Lee, who took his own life shortly after Echo Park.
Then all that’s left is the inevitable: ‘Buck Rogers’ – which sounds enormous still- before ‘Just a Day’ brings the curtain down.
Whilst a ‘Best Of’ tour always feels like something of a swansong, Feeder prove again that they have a unique chapter of British rock all to themselves – and based on the strength of this performance – there may be more to tell.