10th March 2018, Manchester Academy
Feeder are a rare survivor amongst 1990s rock bands. Even twenty-five years after their formation, you can’t spend a night in 42s without hearing ‘Just a Day’ or ‘Buck Rogers’. The imprint they have left on our collective consciousness really shows at such fine venues. Since they are touring their Best Of album, it was staggering to hear the number of hits Feeder have under their belt.
The setlist for their show at the Academy was a celebration of the band’s music from start to finish, playing music from their first album, Polythene, all the way through to their most recent EP Arrow. There were no low points or less well-known songs in the set; it was truly the Best Of Feeder.
Feeder are an interesting and almost unique band in that their appeal spans generations. I have seen them twice now. At each show parents are there with their children – both here to see and enjoy the band. This is a testament to Feeder’s longevity and appeal — to think that people who were listening to ‘High’ on their cassette Walkmans (Walkmen?) are now seeing that same band, 20 years later, with their adult offspring!
The performance, however, left little to be desired. That’s not to say it was a bad performance by any stretch. It was very polished with tight instrumentation, good lighting, and three huge screens complementing each song. Yet, there was still something missing. The set just felt a little mechanical and low-energy at points, with the band members rarely owning the stage they have rightfully earned. Vocalist Grant Nicholas’ singing would sometimes be drowned out by other instruments and seemed to sometimes lacked his trademark resonance. Stage banter was at a minimum and I felt just a little more would have rounded off the show well.
Though, the audience certainly got their money’s worth: the band played an impressive 18 tracks with a five-song encore, featuring two excellent acoustic versions of ‘Silent Cry’ and ‘Children of the Sun’. Finishing with crowd-pleaser and party tune ‘Just A Day’, Feeder rounded off very well-polished set, but ultimately their performance was lacking that little bit of oomph which could have made is truly memorable.