David Renshaw

13:13 1st March 2006

The Feeling

The press release is a fantastic thing; a window into a band, the past present and future are all covered on one sheet of A4. So it’s not very often that a press release makes you feel physically very angry. The Feelings however reads like a Darkness style joke, only you feel they aren’t joking. It starts ‘Hey, Hey we’re The Feeling! The Feeling are the new Gods of cool M.O.R.’ and it only gets worse from there. Five twentysomethings from Sussex and London, they have come to make easy listening hip. It's time to get out your Guilty Pleasures and rejoice! The Feeling are rehabilitating soft-rock.

"We're soft rock archaeologists," says their drummer, Paul Stewart. "It's more about not being self conscious," adds bassist and backing vocalist Richard Jones. "Don't fear the cheese," offers singer-guitarist Dan Gillespie. So forgive Gigwise for being a little bit worried about this interview, we are only just getting over Test Icicles untimely departure. This could make us lose our faith in music, and if Pete Doherty has taught us one thing, it is that that is a bad thing. The band arrive to the interview an hour later than schedule after an appearance on Top of the Pops overran (it’s as good a reason as
any).

Unless you have been living under a rock or on Mars you will have heard The Feelings debut single ‘Sewn’. The song is all over radio play lists and MTV like a rash, and the band are quickly establishing themselves as the coffee table generations new favourite band. Last time the band played in Liverpool they claim they were watched by four people. Tonight’s show has sold over four hundred tickets, not bad for a band releasing their debut single on a cold Monday night and indicative of the bands rapid ascent into the nations consciousness.

The Feeling are self declared “un-cool people” and list amongst their influences Supertramp, ELO and 10cc. When asked whether they have any more contemporary influences lead singer Dan Gillespie says “Yeah, bands from the eighties!” Drummer Paul Stewart however defends the bands cheesy roots by saying “We don’t know what our influences are until we have finished the music, then people come up to us and say well this sounds like this. If you are too aware of your influences it becomes derivative.”

The band are, dare we say it, slightly older than a lot of the bands around at the moment and have had a number of jobs in the past from session musicians to a resident covers band in a French Ski resort. “None of us were really happy doing anything else” says keyboard player Ciaran, “I tried to get a job in Tesco’s and they wouldn’t have me so I did this instead." It is all well and good declaring yourself to be a “guilty pleasure” but do the band worry that in a business that is heavily style based, that their lack of street credibility could cost them record sales? “We are predicting that a lot of people will not listen and not give us a chance, but we don’t care,” says Dan. He then continues, “That’s always going to happen, we won’t be aggressive enough for some people, or angsty enough, but we make music for people that are like us.”


The Feeling

With considerable airplay and the media seemingly on their side everything is set for 2006 to be the year of The Feeling, but do the band feel pressured by this at all? Bass player Richard (Mr. Sophie Ellis Bextor, Heat readers) says, “We were expecting a much slower build over a few singles, but we are getting used to it”. “Its all hype,” says Dan. “What does it even mean? We just try to ignore it really.” When the bands current tour finishes on April 7th the band are almost immediately back on the road supporting The Charlatans as well as being one of the many bands taking part in this years South By South West festival in Texas. The bands summery melodies and even sunnier out look on life seem perfect for the festival season. The band are already confirmed for the V Festival as well as potentially the oddest festival of the year, a graffiti event in Brighton, “We are planning to get Ciaran on decks and put some scratching on our tunes,” says Dan.

It seems that the first half of 2006 is leading up to triumphant festival dates with the album ‘Twelve Stops And Home’ planned for release in June. So realistically where do the band see themselves this time next year? Paul jumps in and says, “We would like to be back here in Liverpool, but playing the biggest room really”. A modest response for a band with arena sized songs.

Now for those of you that prefer your music to be edgy, to push boundaries and challenge you The Feeling are not going to be your cup of tea. In fact they will soon be mentioned in the same breath as Athlete, Travis and Keane but that doesn’t bother them. The band have a refreshing attitude to the whole business, cutting through the crap and just playing for the people that like them. However in an industry that is heavily image based what do The Feeling think they have to offer? “Love, it’s all a bit cold” is the answer according to Dan, he then continues “some warmth and a smile I think”.

So, just for a minute take off your drain pipe jeans, put your Converse shoes in the corner and follow The Feeling on a journey. A trip that takes in the sights of melody, harmony and stopping off at fun - leaving you with a massive grin on your face.

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