The Feeling are back after a 5 year break and they’re starting their nights with a little bit of Canadian pop-rock courtesy of Altameda. This Americana style pop-rock 4 piece provide a lot of fun, upbeat tracks during their short time on stage and the head banging pianist is a unique addition to any band. Whilst their sound is slightly different to The Feeling‘s, they’re a great match and they fill Birmingham’s Town Hall with an atmosphere that remains for the rest of the evening. Leaving the stage after ‘Bowling Green‘, they receive a well deserve round of applause that continues for longer than most support acts. Time flies between bands and whoever is in charge of the playlist before our main act does a cracking job of keeping everyone excited. The evening isn’t sold out and the crowd are slightly older but hey, who isn’t going to move along to ‘Let’s Dance’ by David Bowie?
Despite the anticipation, the crowd are quiet to begin with. ‘High Like You‘ is a beautifully dramatic song to start this setlist with but the album only being released this year, the songs don’t hit the same as their Twelve Stops and Home bangers (for now at least, anyway). ‘Fill My Little World‘ followed by ‘Never Be Lonely‘ is where the evening finds it’s feet and Dan Gillespie Sells interacts with the audience for the first time; halving this brummy bunch and creating a chorus of “never be lonely” seems to kick anyone who wasn’t joining in before into action. Next up on tonights set list, we’re given ‘Love People‘, one of their favourite tracks from the latest records and you can tell Dan & co are passionate about it from the first note but the crowd clearly love it too! From now on, the bass in every song is shaking everything in the building meaning you can feel the songs to your very core helped along by the gorgeous venue which suits them down to the ground.
Once bassist Richard Jones removes his jacket, we can see he’s wearing The Feeling‘s merchandise which is as equally funny as it is endearing and Dan is quick to let us know that they got into trouble last night for not mentioning said merch so “Mr. Jones is modelling them for us tonight” receiving a small giggle from the audience. An old, beat up looking mirror ball piano is rolled out for ‘Rosé‘, leaving us with Dan and his beautiful voice as the rest of the band members get a break for 90 seconds before coming back out half way through the song. Mobile phone torches light up the room and the stage starts to feel a bit theatrical as the other 4 members join the stage, the piano is removed and Dan‘s stand & microphone is returned to centre stage. Twelve Steps and Home is a brilliant album but to see it performed like and turned up to 11 is something else; the end of ‘Rosé‘ followed by ‘Helicopter‘ as both reimagined into rock tracks and Dan ensures he doesn’t effect his voice trying to match that sounds.
As the this 5 piece really hit their stride, they prank their sound man, by pretending there’s something wrong with a sound pack. As Mr. Duncan reluctantly walks on stage, Dan announces that he absolutely hates being on stage, but it is his birthday and for that, we should all sing to him. After calling Dan a silly tw*t and going slightly red in the face, we head into the first of three covers of the evening ‘Video Killed The Radio Star‘ which goes down a treat. For people like myself, who weren’t aware that the band wrote the music for a little Broadway musical called ‘Everybody’s Talking About Jamie‘, it’s a nice addition to the set list to have the show title track and ‘This Was Me‘ thrown in there for a bit of a mix up in the setlist. As the night starts to close with their final few songs, the boys manage to keep the show elegant and clean, even when they’re climbing over everything.
The encore starts with ‘I Thought It Was Over‘ and one last interaction with the crowd explains how the band is made up of members who all like very different things. For example:
Kevin, the guitarist, was massively influenced by Slash
Paul, the drummer, love funk
and Dan, well Dan likes The Carpenters…
This little tidbit of information quickly gives you an idea of how this band got their sound as you can hear elements of everyone included in everything they do. Dan let’s us know that they came to the conclusion that they could only finish on ‘Fat Bottomed Girls’ by Queen to keep them all happy, but he’s “not going to butcher Freddies vocals on his own, we’re all going to join in and help” and with that, he switches on his inner Freddie and preforms in a way we haven’t seen for the rest of the night. This Queen classic gets the seated standing and the standing dancing. What a way to end.