For most, including me, The Feeling were the best of the best when it comes to mid noughties indie. 2006 saw ‘Fill My Little World’ and ‘Never Be Lonely’ leap into the Top 10, when Razorlight and The Fratellis were also the height of fashion. However, in the ten years since the band have dropped off the radar; indie rock doesn’t frequent Radio 1 listeners’ ears much these days. Luckily there’s plenty of other punters giddy at the prospect of watching The Feeling in 2016, as Manchester’s Ruby Lounge is packed out.
The band kick off with smash hit ‘Fill My Little World’, hands clap and people sway, women over 30 scream “I love you!”, it’s all quite surreal. After getting in our good books, frontman Dan Gillespie Sells announces that they will now be performing their new eponymous album in it’s entirety. New album. In it’s entirety. A bold move to say the least. The Feeling starts well, ‘Wicked Heart’ and ‘Spiralling’ heralding shiny slide guitars and strong vocals but as the album progresses, it’s as though we might be spiralling out of control.
Tracks like ‘Shadow Boxer’ and ‘Feel Something’ are part of The Feeling’s new formula; plain lyrics accompanied by theatrical music. It would make more sense if this was the soundtrack to a musical, the slow building chord progressions and whispered tones are slightly cheesy. If you came for a night of outright indie rock, “You don’t need me and that’s alright, you don’t miss me and that’s alright” are only backed by quiet keyboard chords – the lyrics stand at the front demanding to be heard, it’s just a shame they’re not more allegorical occasionally. There’s some decent songs in the mix, and the crowd love it, I just wish there was a little more to love.
After a full new album, we get treated to the “golden oldies”. ‘Never Be Lonely’ is followed by ‘Rosé’ and ‘Sewn’ and the crowd go wild. Finally ‘Love It When You Call’ gets 25 to 45 year olds alike jumping and screaming. Gillespie Sells struts around the stage, doing classic rock inspired pirouettes with his guitar and never failing to wow the crowd. Tonight was a wonderful mix of throwback and insight into what The Feeling have become 5 albums down the line. You never know what you might discover in underground Manchester venues on a Monday night.