The Feeling – Rock City, Thursday November 16
At the risk of sounding like a miserable old codger – but hey, know thyself – sold out nights at Rock City often work best when the venue is full of Nice People, who don’t quite like to venture onto the main floor because it might be A Bit Scary. The happy consequence is that – for those of us who wouldn’t contemplate standing anywhere else – there is room to breathe without getting suffocated, space to dance without getting squashed, and the opportunity to see more than the tops of the performers’ heads.
Rock City was full of Nice People last night – and as such, they were the perfect match for the smartly dressed, clean-cut boys on stage, and their brand of breezy, catchy, radio-friendly pop-rock. Much has been made of the The Feeling’s influences, particularly with reference to that most un-rock-and-roll of genres: 1970s MOR pop, of the Supertramp/ELO school. However, once stripped of the glossy production of their recorded versions, the songs are revealed simply as classic feel-good music, with a timeless, instantly familiar quality. Frankly, the band sound all the better for it.
Lead singer Dan Gillespie-Sells, with his floppy fringe, winning grin, skin-tight clothing and effortlessly flirtatious manner, radiated a kind of wholesome sexiness. The screams might have been absent, but the rapt expressions dotted around the room told their own story.
Highlights included a massed singalong to Never Be Lonely (with formation bouncing), a massed singalong to Sewn (with formation swaying), and a massed singalong to Video Killed The Radio Star (are you getting the picture yet?).
“We hope you go home with smiles on your faces”, said Dan, introducing the last number. A nice guy, fronting a likeable band, playing cheerful music to happy people. No shame in that. Sometimes, Nice is all you need.