The Feeling - Manchester Apollo - 27.2.07

Across town Mika's tickets have been going for £100 on Ebay with touts outside the venue charging much more. It's often easy to forget that a few months ago the same thing was happening to the Feeling at their Academy 1 show and their war against the Arctic Monkeys for World Beating band may not be over just year as Britain is but a small pond in the scheme of things with the Feeling making considerable waves Stateside while the Monkeys play to ever decreasing numbers as their set goes on.

Neither cool or fashionable as I sit up in the circle, a group of pensioners in front of me, children to the right of and students to the left of me it's clear that The Feeling have a universal appeal and it's worth noting that the average age is still a great deal younger than that of the Kaiser Chiefs the previous night. While early Feeling shows were still a little rough around the edges as the band tried to recreate those lush harmonies, now the band are so tight that the songs are polished into an inch of their lives
that I spend most of tonight's set trying to work out if the band are actually playing live or miming. It's the post-Doherty head on me with it being so long since that bands actually could play that you're own mind doubts it if anyone can but the band have lost something in their quest for perfection.

With only one album behind them, albeit one with more singles than most bands have in a career, the set is fleshed out with two covers. The Buggles "Video Killed The Radio Star" and Queen's "Big Bottom Girl", the former which they used to cover in the Swiss Alps and the latter which they learnt for Al Murray's Pub Landlord. It's easy to see the likes of "Love It When You Call" and "Fill My Little Word" becoming modern day classics, but it's the more reflective moments such as "Rose" and "Strange" that will see them going the long run.

Apart from the last few months where Dan Gillespie-Sells has become a spokesman for the loosely termed gay indie generation for people who prefer guitar music to Britney and Xtina, what is remarkable is how it hasn't been about the band themselves but the songs. When we look back at "I Love 2007" they'll be the Arctic Monkey's attitude problem, Doherty's drug problems, butmore than anything the only band that people will actually talk about the music are the Feeling

Alex McCann

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