Feeder - Manchester Academy 2 - 24.4.06

Ok, it may be just the way i'm feeling but im sure on XFM's wishlist for Access All April Feeder must have been quite far down the list as bands they want to represent the alternative. A band which make Snow Patrol seem exciting, Feeder have continually ploughed the middle of the road, taken the easiest path and in fairness it's paid off dividends in terms of record sales, but surely when the gigs are ended, the TV cameras have stopped recording they must worry about their entire lack of conviction or soul.

Strolling on to the ballad "Feeling A Moment", which is just about elevated from every other Feeder ballad with the addition of what can best be described as Police siren style backing vocals. It's a trick they employ on the next track "Shatter" which is essentially the first rewritten and speeded up in the hope that no one will notice but surely even Feeder fans notice that they've been writing and releasing the same song for the last 3 or 4 years. But maybe not, bassist Taka still bounds around with enthusiastic glee and Grant Nichols is pleased that we've all been following the band for this long, a fact which is compounded by the bands closing song "High".

Amongst the drudgery there are still some stand out moments where Feeder prove that occasionally they can buck their career trajectory and write a zeitgeist defining song. "Buck Rogers", "Pushing The Senses" and "7 Days In The Sun" are all great rock songs so you have to ask why do they rely on the powerballads all the time when they're worth so much more than that. Those old fans will still remember there was a time when Feeder used to rock rather than, in their own words, tumble and fall.

Tonight, the most entertaining thing about Feeder were the fans and the mad for it mancs who must have been watching a different show than us. Like a live version of the "Just A Day" a stoner metaller does a messed up version of the Bez dance, drinks go flying and by the end of the show half the audience must have been crowd surfing. How the hell could Feeder compete? Lets just hope they do a Stereophonics and ditch the ballads in favour of an balls out rock album next time round

Alex McCann
Photos: Shirlaine Forrest www.shirlainephotos.co.uk

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