Feeder – Academy 1, Manchester (10th March 2018)

Last week, Feeder embarked on a UK tour, both in celebration of their 21st anniversary and in support of their new ‘Best Of’ compilation. The run of nine dates began at Wrexham’s William Aston Hall and concludes at London’s O2 Brixton Academy this weekend – we caught the Welsh rockers at Manchester Academy 1 last Saturday night.

Kicking off an evening of nostalgia was fan favourite ‘Feeling a Moment’, brimming with optimism and showcasing front man Grant Nicholas’ soaring vocals. Next came ‘Shatter’ before the boisterous ‘Renegades’, with the evening maintaining a lively tempo for the majority of the evening.

The crowd burst into applause and cheers each and every time Nicholas spoke, particularly in reaction to a heart-warming tale of his wife crying the first time he played ‘High’ to her. Sounding as anthemic as ever, ‘High’ received one of the biggest sing-along’s of the night and highlighted the strength of the crowds adoration for the band, twenty years after the release of their debut album, ‘Polythene’.

The pace of the evening slowed down slightly with the rarely played ‘Piece by Piece’, before the instantly recognisable intro to the piano led ‘Tender’ filled the room with melodic sweetness, complete with hauntingly beautiful vocals from Nicholas. ‘Tender’ was followed by ‘Eskimo’ from 2016’s ‘All Bright Electric’ album, with its blistering riff and a swaggering groove (courteous of bassist Taki Hirose) that allows it (and ‘Universe of Life’) to sit perfectly alongside their older material.

After a robust rendition of their first single ‘Stereo World’, Nicholas opened the set list up to the crowd and offered them the choice between hearing ‘Cement’ or ‘My Perfect Day’. A loud roar indicated that ‘My Perfect Day’ was the chosen one and this was followed by ‘Borders’, with Nicholas’ vocals impressing throughout both as he kept up with the pounding drums and slapping bass.

Chatting to the crowd about the wealth of material that they’ve produced over their career, Nicholas joked that they started out really young – despite having formed 30 years ago, they triumphantly ploughed through a 2 hour long set and were as tight and fresh as ever, grinning to each other and the crowd throughout. The end of the set arrived with the double hit whammy of ‘Just The Way I’m Feeling’ and ‘Buck Rogers’, with a teased intro of the latter, before they launched into the original full powered version of the hit single.

The encore began with acoustic renditions of ‘Silent Cry’ and ‘Children of the Sun’ before ‘Seven Days in the Sun’ and the raucous ‘Just a Day’, complete with crowd surfers. It’s safe to say that there wasn’t a single person stood still in the venue and when the lights came on, all you could see was a room full of beaming smiles. Here’s to another 30 years of Feeder!

‘The Best Of Feeder’ is out now and comes alongside a nine-track disc of new material, titled ‘Arrow’. You can order a copy from the bands website.