REVIEW Feeder – Leeds O2 Academy – 13th March 2018

November 2008. The last time I saw Feeder play O2 Academy (or should I say Carling Academy, and shudder at the memories of warm ‘gig’ Carling) and rather enthusiastically ended up somewhere between the middle and the front, depending on which way we all danced around.

Many things have changed since then, generally and in live music venues. The small queue (impeccably managed based upon previous experience at the venue over the years) even an hour after the doors opened, as a result of security, is a stark reminder of the more challenging and saddening aspects of live music that have evolved throughout this time period.

For a Tuesday night mid March, the venue is… Well to be quite frank, it’s full. As in, properly full, not strategically spaced ‘I’m saving spaces’ full. Hardly surprising considering this is a band whose music has spanned over multiple decades.

Although I missed the first support act Sweet Little Machine (another addition to factor into the equation attending a gig in comparison to 2008, having a full time job to negotiate), I did purchase one of their t-shirts due to the eye-catching design, which has since lead to finding their music – a reverse marketing ploy worked well on this occasion.

Team Picture. Counting the band members walking onto the stage, I was debating for a second whether we were in a Broken Social Scene situation (you’ll be pleased to know their 19 band members ‘record’ is under no threat). A full O2 Academy, with the hustle and bustle of the bars and crowd is always difficult in the circumstances. Their style was of the scaled back Arcade Fire kind and pleasant to listen to. A band that would be interesting to see on the festival circuit and from what I can spot so far, it seems they have Long Division 2018 in place.

Lights dimmed, Feeder made their way onto the stage. Having grown up with the band, particularly during high school, the songs evoke many memories. Starting with ‘Feeling a Moment’, there was the mutual understanding within the audience that people just ‘get’ it. The real truth is, it’s hard not to like any of their songs. 

Classics after classics, with a few of the newer songs thrown in for good measure. Particular highlights of the evening, besides the obvious, included the back-to-back combination of ‘Pushing the Senses’ and ‘Lost & Found’ and later on in the set list, ‘My Perfect Day’, ‘Cement’, ‘Borders’ following each other in quick succession. Considering the guys have recently hit the big 5-0, you would simply have no idea. The energy input for the two hour setlist was brilliant.

Of course I have to mention the usual songs. The ‘Just A Day’ and ‘Buck Rogers’. Let’s be frank, no matter how often you hear these live, you know you’d be disappointed if they weren’t played. Complete and utter joy/madness/happiness doesn’t even come close to describing everybody in the room when the opening chords start.

Once again they delivered. A great midweek gig, providing the opportunity to reminisce and celebrate over 25 years of life with Feeder.

Set list can be view here

SONG REVIEWS – ‘Loaded Gun’ and ‘Her’ – The Contravenes

‘Loaded Gun’ and ‘Her’ are songs by indie-rock Leeds band The Contravenes. Full of guitars, percussion and the raw vocal talent of Denny Parker, they’re the style of band you want to discover late afternoon at a music festival. A band and you can tap your feet, nod your head and jump with; but still pay attention to.

The Contravenes

The Contravenes

‘Loaded Gun’, beginning with a lonely guitar riff, soon intensifies, drawing in additional instruments. If you think The Walkmen, crossed with The Libertines, you’re probably on the right lines. Well composed, good old guitar-led rock from a band that can already produce a high quality melody.

What’s nice then is that ‘Her’ is a different style completely. The intensity of the song is stripped completely back, focusing more on the lyrics with a simple percussion in the background and the tones of a guitar accompanying the vocals. Proof if it was ever needed that The Contravenes are versatile in what they do.

Having just played a successful gig at 360 Club with The Vendettas, The Contravenes are playing as a part of the Oxjam Leeds opening event this Saturday 18th July 2015 at The Primrose (Meanwood Road, LS7 2HZ). A free event it’d be foolish not to go check them and the other acts out.

Visit The Contravenes Soundcloud to listen to both tracks

Music video for ‘Loaded Gun’ can be found