The Feeling roll into Oxford to play the penultimate date on their ‘Twelve Years and Home’ tour, which sees the band play their debut album ‘Twelve Stops And Home’ in its entirety and in track list order. The Feeling have been on hiatus for a couple of years, during which time vocalist/guitarist Dan Gillespie-Sells has written the music for the current West End musical ‘Everybody’s Talking About Jamie’.
In a near full house, the crowd covered all ages, from parents with their offspring (I first saw the Feeling in 2006 at the Hammersmith Apollo and took my daughter, then aged eight, for her first gig) through to people quite possibly older than me!
Following a glorious harmony vocal filled intro tape ‘Fill My Little Fanfare’, the band appear onstage to a rousing reception and we are off with the album opener ‘I Want You Now’. A perfect upbeat opener for the night, quickly followed by ‘Never Be Lonely’, where vocalist Dan Gillespie-Sells led a crowd sing-a-long. He has lost none of his on-stage energy or enthusiasm, a natural frontman and still possessing a pretty amazing vocal range.
‘Kettle’s On’ kept things bubbling along nicely, before the crowd went wild as the opening refrains of ‘Fill My Little World’ were played. Safe to say nearly everyone was singing along in the venue, even the medic who was standing nearby. ‘Sewn’, ‘Anyone’ and ‘Strange’, which Dan dedicated to all the oddballs in the world, seemed to fly by and then an even bigger cheer as ‘Love It When You Call’ was played. One of the greatest pop songs of the 00′s, the band and the crowd gave it their all. How to follow a song like that? Easy for the Feeling as ‘Rosé’ is next on the album, another song where the audience knew all the words and eve took over singing at one point.
On ‘Helicopter’ the band showed their rock side to its fullest, with guitarist Kevin Jeremiah leaping and bounding all over the stage. The Feeling have that knack of switching between rock, pop and even a little prog with ease, always with a focus on the melody.
‘Blue Piccadilly’ closed the set, a song that highlights the band’s wonderful vocal harmonies – always thought this song has shades of Queen about it.
The first encore sees Dan at the piano, bathed in stage lights, performing the ‘hidden’ track of the ‘Twelve Stops And Home’ album ‘Miss You’. Then for the second encore we get two songs of their second album ‘Join With Us’, a lively ‘I Thought It Was Over’ and the title track.
When I saw them back in 2006 I was very impressed and that show remains one of my favourite gigs, and I can now add this one. The band were on great form, spurred on by an enthusiastic crowd, making for a great night of music. Now the band have celebrated the ‘Twelve Stops And Home’ album, as well as seemingly getting their live mojo back, we hope they make good the onstage announcement that they plan to write new songs and record an album.
Review by Jason Ritchie
Fill My Little Fanfare/I Want You Now/Never Be Lonely/Kettle’s On/Fill My Little World/Sewn/Anyone/Strange/Love It When You Call/Rosé/Same Old Stuff/ Helicopter/ Blue Piccadilly/Encore: Miss You Encore 2: I Thought It Was Over/ Join With Us
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