Feeder, Live at Brixton Academy

After a combustion of scatty Libertine-esque Indie from young Cockney upstarts Thee Unstrung and few a moments of sensitivity and reflection by the amiable Scotish lads Cherryfalls, it was time for Feeder to fill the Brixton Academy with an array of radio friendly rock and polished melodies. Front man Grant Nicholas suddenly emerges with a humble wave
leading the remainder of the band on stage. A group of young teenagers to my left begin declaring their undying love for Grant, unimpressed I await the first few chords of the set opener “feeling a moment” as Feeder put on a smile and effortlessly plough through the first three or four songs before Grant addresses his public with a simple ‘Hello.’

The pass decade has seen Feeder leave their Smashing Pumpkin influenced roots and head towards a more mellow Coldplay style of music, concentrating more on melodies rather than loud, fast guitars. With the new album being played against a backdrop of computer generated images ranging from children dancing to an array of hands grasping at thin air, it is easy to think that Feeder, in particular Grant Nicholas have become rather pretentious and detached from their roots.

Grant raises his voice to mere shout for the first time declaring “We’re gonna play some old ones” and launches into live favourite “High” which causes a sea of lighters to fill the academy. After a moment of genuine sincerity Feeder turn up the amps and soar into “descend” from their first commercial release with the Echo Label, E.P Swim.

Everyone seems happy, but at times the fun seems limited like something similar to rock ‘n roll with rules, maybe Grant is being more reserved in his old age. Feeder close with ‘Just a Day’ arguably their best song to date, perform the obligatory ritual of throwing various Feeder related paraphernalia into the crowd and hurridly head backstage, where is it likely that Grant Nicholas will curl up with a good book and a cup of cocoa, bless.

(Chris Spillane)