Grant Nicholas. Picture by Ian D. Hall

L.S. Media Rating ****

Feeder had only released their new album, Generation Freakshow, the day before but looking around the extremely packed out Parr Hall in Warrington, it was impossible to see any fan that hadn’t already learned the vast majority of the words to the new songs in time for the band’s appearance on stage.

As ever this is testament to the power of music over many other forms of entertainment, it is also a huge nod to the determined music lover of any group to be in fine voice by the time their heroes come to their home town.

Warrington’s Parr Hall may have seemed like a strange venue to highlight the new album and it is possible that the band took this decision as not to play favourites to either Liverpool or Manchester. Whatever the overriding decision, the audience bounced and sang their collective hearts out as much as the three men on stage did and in that, when it all comes down to it, is the only factor that matters.

The evening opened, strangely but warmly with a powerful acoustic version of Children of the Sun which had the crowd ready to get out their lighters. It was one of those moments that can throw an audience; especially a rock based one who may expect the musicians to come on stage to one of the biggest and loudest numbers at their disposal. By kicking off with the gentle yet stunning refrain of this song, it grabbed the audience’s attention in a way that left a sweet taste in the mouth, no shouting to the person next to you and yelling over the crash of cymbals and rush of the guitar. This was akin to having the worst person you could imagine moving in next door to you and finding that beneath the façade of extremes, stands the quietest and most interesting person you will ever meet. Such was the hush in the hall as vocalist Grant Nicholas sang this beautiful but worrying song that it would be nigh on near possible to imagine ever hearing its like again.

The evening went back and forth from one era to another but it was the songs from the previous album Renegades and the collection of songs from the latest offering that drew the biggest reaction from the crowd. With songs such as the aforementioned Renegades, Tiny Minds, Idaho and Hey Johnny all making an appearance in the set, there was more than enough for fans to savour and enjoy and think of for gigs to come.

Other songs to be played on the night were the often called for Buck Rogers and the much loved 1998 track, Insomnia being greeted like old friends.

There may have been the odd hiccup on the way but every band has those, especially when the songs are that new!

Feeder provided a wonderful night out for the people of Warrington and for all those that travelled the distance to see this genuinely excellent British band perform, it was made all the sweeter.

Ian D. Hall