Gig Review
Photo Of The Chemists © Copyright TriggerFeeder
The Chemists
Birmingham, GL1
29th November 2008

Feeder                   The Chemists
Tonight I headed to Gloucester to the newly revamped and renamed leisure centre now called the GL1 to see Feeder play their first ever live show in Gloucester and all in all it was a really good night.

We got to Gloucester at about 7pm after totally underestimating the time it would take us to get there, we parked the car in what seemed like the un-safest part of town where there was a what seemed like 18 year old lad on the floor crying with a bike a few yards away from him with no wheels left on it, we thought nothing of it got out the car and walked out of the car park passing what looked like a couple of cider drinking wasters heading into the car park, which left me thinking all night that I would come back to see my car turned upside down with no wheels left, nevertheless we headed off down to the GL1 in hope that the car would survive the 3 hours of the gig.

Photo Of The Chemists © Copyright TriggerThe doors for the show were due to open at 7.30pm, we got to the venue at 7.10pm and for some reason the doors were already open and the queue was moving really fast, so 5 minutes later we were in the venue which was a good result, we headed straight to the main room to see what size the venue was and wow it was massive it was the main hall of the leisure centre where sports like basketball and everything is normally played, so you can kind of imagine the size of the venue and like true leisure centre style the ceiling was really high up, after checking out the main room I went to talk to the security guard about the photopass rules for the night, he didn’t have a clue what I was on about and looked at me like I was an alien, he then sent me off to another security guard who then sent me to a lady out side the main room who then sent me to someone else who then went and asked the manager who then came back and told me the rules, from this I could clearly tell that there haven’t been many gigs before at this venue as the security didn’t know rules about anything.

Photo Of The Chemists © Copyright TriggerThe Chemists were the one and only support band tonight, they took to the stage at 7.50pm and played a 40 minute set, they had big neon red lights on stage displaying their band name, it kind of looked like the kind of sign you see outside oldskool barber shops, it was good that the band had a stage prop as the lighting for their set was terrible, with the usual bland red lighting that every support band seems to get stitched up with. I only know two songs from The Chemists and that is their two singles 'Something For The Weekend' and 'Radio Booth', 'Something For The Weekend' was played really early on in the set, I think it may have even been the second song they played, anyway the song sounded good from where I was standing, the riffs were big and chunky sounding and frontman Johnny Benn's vocals were really strong sounding, but the crowd seemed like they weren’t enjoying it whatsoever, no one was jumping up and down their was pretty much no movement whatsoever and in fact The Chemists appeared quite tiresome on stage pretty much standing on the spot or swaying slightly playing their instruments. The Chemists finished their set with frontman Johnny Benn announcing this is our new single 'Radio Booth', and the band seemed very alive for this song, they were moving more during these 4 minutes than they had during the rest of the set, they were rocking out and they were clearly enjoying it and magically so were some of the members of the crowd, but it seemed like The Chemists left it too long to rock out because as soon as the song finished they were off the stage.

Photo Of The Feeder © Copyright TriggerOn record The Chemists sound really strong and rocking, but on stage tonight they seemed to be lacking energy and passion for the music they were playing apart from during the last song, and this really isn’t good especially when they have been supporting a massive indie band like Feeder on a mammoth tour of the UK, which is the perfect chance for any new up and coming band to rack up a whole new fan base, I just hope this was a one off tiresome end of tour performance otherwise these guys won’t last long on the live circuit.

Feeder were due to take to the stage at 9pm, we headed out to the bar to grab a drink of Coke whilst waiting for the roadies to do their job and set up the stage for the headline act, we headed back to the main room to wait patiently for Feeder to take to the stage, I took a look around and the main hall had filled up nicely, there was still enough space for everyone to stretch out as you weren’t all sandwiched together like at most gigs and I guess this was down to the band playing a big hall rather than the “normal” sized venues they play, the age group of people in the room was totally mixed, you had the teenagers right at the front, you had the drinkers and middle aged people in the middle and you had the people who didn’t really know much of Feeder but came along for a night out at the back.

Photo Of The Feeder © Copyright TriggerAt 9pm the room went dark, backing music started up and Feeder took to the stage walking in a line one by one, what I first noticed was that tonight Feeder have 5 members when as a band they are a 3 piece but this all made sense, quite a lot of bands add a few extra people to the band for their touring band to help create a bigger and better sound and this is what Feeder did.

The first song Feeder played was 'We Are The People' the song is the opening track from their new album 'Silent Cry', the crowd seemed to be enjoying every moment of it, as soon as the song finished the big black curtain at the back of the stage came down, well it got stuck half way but eventually fell down to reveal two huge video screens, throughout the rest of the show the two video screens flashed up different videos, distorted images, slow moving images and so on, the band also brought along their own light show, which to be honest was pretty much needed as the GL1 really lacks on their own lighting equipment.

Early on in the set Feeder played a lot of their hits from 'Comfort In Sound', 'Insomnia' and 'Rewind', the whole crowd seemed like they were having a party singing along word for word and a few select people dancing along like looneys whilst enjoying their beer and trying not to spill a drop, in front of where I was standing it was like Bez from the Happy Mondays had come along to bust some grooves on the dance floor, it was definitely a funny sight to see.

Photo Of The Feeder © Copyright TriggerAfter the flurry of hit singles, front man Grant Nicholas spoke to the crowd about the recent bus fire their crew had where everything was lost, from laptops, mobile phones to clothing etc he then dedicated the next song 'Fires' to the crew which was met with loud screams from the fans. From this moment Feeder started to play more of their newer and softer sounding stuff and you could instantly see the change in the crowds reaction, the people at the front were still jumping around and singing along but everyone else looked a bit bored and didn’t know a word. Luckily things picked up a few songs down the line when the band played a stunning performance of 'Buck Rodger's which really got the GL1 moving tonight.

One of the biggest highlights of the night for me was when 'High' was played, it was good to sing along with everyone to a song that you grew up listening to, it was a wonderful experience. Like most bands Feeder went off stage for a bit, this was after they played 'Lost And Found'.

Photo Of The Feeder © Copyright TriggerWhilst Feeder were backstage doing whatever a band does before they come back to play their encore, the crowd in the GL1 was chanting "Feeder, Feeder" as loud as they could, Grant then came back on stage and played an acoustic version of 'Silent Cry', after the song was over the rest of the band took to the stage and played 'Yesterday Went To Soon' and then it was a double whammy of great songs to finish of the night, the first was 'Seven Days In The Sun' which proved to be a proper crowd pleaser and then the last song of the night was 'Just A Day' which was the song the crowd had been waiting for all night with many people chanting out "dudaduda" which is the most catchy bit from 'Just A Day', in between each and every song hoping it would be 'Just A Day', when the song came on, it went down perfectly as the whole room erupted into excitement with everyone dancing and jumping the night away.

Just before Feeder left the stage Grant Nicholas announces that they are going to go away and work on a new album, I just hope that this time they go back to their rocky roots, I loved every Feeder album fully up to and including 'Echo Park' but from then onwards they have released 3 albums that have a couple of good songs on and the rest are fillers and you end up switching off half way through, hopefully this time they will return back on form.

Overall the night was good, and it was great to see a band I grew up listening to come to my local town and play all their hits.

Feeder - 4/5
The Chemists 2/5

Review and photos By Trigger

Grant Nicholas (vocals, guitar)
Taka Hirose (bass)
Mark Richardson (drums)

 The Chemists

Coming Soon

 Band Related Links
Feeder Myspace
The Chemists Myspace
 Review Score Code
- Top Cheese
- Brilliant
- Pretty damn good
- Ok I guess
- What Was That?