Monday 14 June 2010

Feeder, Camden Barfly

I’m down in London today. Last week a friend emailed me to say he’d got tickets for the launch party for Feeder’s new ‘Renegades’ album.

Woah. Good call. In short, I snapped his hand off.

We make it to the Camden Barfly in good time for when the doors open at 1.30pm, for this is an afternoon show. Rather worryingly as we queue we can hear the band bashing out a couple of their new songs. Have they started without us? Thankfully not, as we grab a free Aisha beer and join the queue for the upstairs room where the gigs are held, we realise they were only sound checking.

When the band t hit the stage at 2.45, they play an eight song set consisting exclusively of tracks from the new album, songs they’d premièred on their Renegades tours. Including, to close, the new single ‘Call Out’ and still, thankfully, they’re doing it all as a three piece.

The crowd are understandably really up for it and the band seems to enjoying themselves too. The new material sounds better and better each time I hear them play it, although even the lighter moments of the new tracks, such as on ‘Down To The River’ are now starting to sound on the heavy side. We were hoping for an encore of oldies to follow the set but instead what we got was the promise of another complete set later on. Cool.

So we head back into the bar area, watch the Cameroon v Japan World Cup tie and try out the free Sake. Meanwhile all three band members are milling around meeting their fans.

Later turns out to be quite a bit later, but eventually the band come back on and I’m sure it’s going to be worth the wait. This set could be interesting.

They open with ‘Godzilla’ off ‘Comfort In Sound’, not a great fave of mine and to be honest it sounded a bit messy tonight but it set the groove for the songs that followed. The ‘Renegades’ set may have been heavy but this set if anything was even heavier. Included were the two missing Renegades numbers that we usually get live, ‘End Of The Road’ and ‘Left Foot Right’ but it was when they went back to album number two for an awesome ‘Insomnia’ that the place really got rocking. ‘Insomnia’ has not sounded this good or this raw for years. Probably not since the band were last a three piece and playing in venues of a similar the size to the Barfly. It cannoned off the roof and the walls, sounding simply fantastic.

Top that? Well, it was perhaps equalled by ‘Lost And Found’, which stripped down and played raw like this, took on a new lease of life and, please takes note, sounds much better without the Foo Fighters in the middle of it.

Before which we got a slightly unnecessary reprise of ‘Renegades’ because someone requested it. They’re just being too accommodating, when there’s so much else that could be played. Yet second time around it is kind of special as the crowd start off singing it before the band have even started to play it.

Then there’s ‘Sweet 16’, still so amazing and aren’t they getting better and better at playing it again now it’s had a few outings after years of neglect. This has got to stay in the set for the October tour. Surely?

Grant has a huge grin on his face and appears to be saying to Karl, ‘What we going to do now? Are we going to finish on Breed?’ Well, that’s what it says on the set list but seven songs have been got through in such a fast time, surely there’s time for more. Karl seems to agree, hits the drums and ‘Come Back Around’ emerges. Yes, another track that sounds just amazing stripped down to its basics.

Then they do close with a cover of Nirvana’s ‘Breed’. Good though it was, it begs the question... ‘Descend’? ‘Shade’? But still it’s not a bad way to finish and it’s been a wonderful second set, not that the first one wasn’t good because it certainly was.

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