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Review: Feeder


Grant Nicholas of Feeder. Photo: PA

Grant Nicholas of Feeder. Photo: PA

Grant Nicholas of Feeder. Photo: PA

ARRIVING just as Britpop was starting to break down into its constituent ingredients of jingoism and re-heated Kinks riffs, Feeder were hailed as the UK's answer to Nirvana.

This sounds like a heresy but, with their lank hair, grungy riffs and bubble gum choruses, the comparison wasn't without some foundation.

Ash aside, they were the only band of their era swimming against a deluge of mockney accents and hackneyed rewrites of ‘Lazing On A Sunday Afternoon’.

More than a decade on, the Welsh trio reside in that special purgatory that exists for cult groups big enough to continue eeking an existence but whose chances of ever scoring another hit hover close to zero.

Six months ago they performed at the same Dublin venue, drew a similar crowd and played much the the same set. You have to admire their ability to stay motivated.

Feeder's most recent album, ‘Renegades’, was touted by front-man Grant Nicholas as an attempt to ‘reconnect' with their late 90s incarnation. Another point of view would be that he was trying to repair the damage inflicted by 2008's ‘Silent Cry’.

Seeking to broaden the Feeder sound, that record instead served only to underscore the band’s limitations.

Straining for a ‘deeper' aesthetic, Nicholas came off as one of those whiny singersongwriters who confuses tuneless bleating for introspective profundity.

Critics were damning, fans puzzled – why would a successful outfit tinker with a winning formula?

Hammered by negative reviews, Feeder seem to have learned their lesson.

Greeted by a pogoing dance-floor of hardcore fans, tonight they conjure up a sweaty, football terrace atmosphere.

Hit follows hit, each slathered in super-size servings of fuzz and reverb.

Nicholas even mimics Kurt Cobain's patented jumpwhile- wrenching-guitar pose. It's not original and it certainly isn't clever.

But it is tremendous fun.

If Feeder have a get-out-ofjail card, it is their ability to blast through the cobwebs and make you feel you've stumbled upon the best indie disco ever.