Monday, November 13, 2006

getting The Feeling

Having got back from Staffordshire via a somewhat circuitous train journey last night (depart Wolverhampton 17:25, wind around all over the place via Kidderminster, Stourbridge, Worcester, etc., arrive Bristol Temple Meads 20:50), I was looking forward to a nice leisurely evening on the sofa tonight with my feet up watching the television with maybe a pizza and a glass of wine.

Then I was reminded that I'd agreed to go to a gig down at the Carling Academy tonight - The Feeling, a band I'd only ever heard a couple of songs by, but my friends Robin, John, James and Hayley were going so it was an excuse for a couple of pints, at least. And in fact it was a bit of a revelation - the one song I'd heard (Sewn) had (good though it is) led me to expect something a bit medium-paced and downbeat, but actually it was, in the main, really good punchy "power pop", to coin a phrase you don't hear much any more. Which set me thinking of a couple of other examples of the genre:

- Jellyfish: it's astonishing to me how much The Feeling sound like Jellyfish. It's equally astounding to discover that Jellyfish's classic debut album Bellybutton was released as far back as 1990. I used to have it, but I've had a look round after getting in tonight and I don't seem to any more. I'll have to see if Amazon have it on offer.....apparently one of the reasons the band members got together was a shared enthusiasm for XTC, which brings me to:

- XTC: I used to have a copy of Oranges And Lemons, their late-80's psychedelic effort, and it was pretty good (you might remember "The Mayor Of Simpleton" being a minor hit), but it was all a bit winsome for me. The really good stuff was the early singles like Making Plans For Nigel, Sgt. Rock and Senses Working Overtime. I reckon a bit of a retrospective critical re-evaluation (and a nice newly packaged Best Of that I can buy) is long overdue.

Fascinating The Feeling fact: their bass player Richard Jones is married to Sophie Ellis-Bextor.

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