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The Feeling
It’s not easy to put a finger on what The Feeling sound like. At first listen, they’re a five-piece British indie band that makes music comparable to Athlete and Embrace…and then they break into a catchy ‘nah nah nah’ chorus that is more reminiscent of Boyzone. How exactly should we describe their music then? We let the band members themselves help us out in this five-step guide to The Feeling.

1. They’ve known each other for ages but only started making music together recently.
The boys first got together ten years ago when drummer Paul Stewart introduced his old friends Ciaran and Kevin Jeremiah to his new friends Dan Gillespie Sells and Richard Jones. “We’ve known each other for so long but the actual band, this band started three years ago,” says Jones. “To us it was so natural.” Gillespie Sells attributes this history to why the band shares such a warm rapport. “Because we’ve been working together for ten years, these guys are brothers,” he says. “We’ve just known each other for so long now that it just doesn’t even feel like you’re kind of separate people any more really in some ways. It’s like family really, so you don’t really even think about it.

2. One of the band’s early paying jobs was a gig at a ski resort in the Alps.
It’s hard to believe, but The Feeling weren’t always playing to crowded houses. In the early part of their career, they answered a wanted ad and spent a few months as the house-band for a ski resort in the Alps, playing covers of songs by The Bangles and The Kinks, among others. Once the winter was over, they went back to honing their skills by playing in other peoples’ bands. Jones got lucky ~ he found himself playing in Sophie Ellis-Bextor’s then-band and the two eventually married.

3. They’re proud to be pop.
We were wrong with our initial ‘indie-band’ impression of The Feeling ~ they’re pop and proud all the way! “We always thought that we made radio music because we love radio music, we listen to it and it inspires us,” says Jones. “It’s one of the things that, you know, made the record industry interested in us.” With no qualms about being the type of band that is likely to be labelled a ‘guilty pleasure’, the band has released numerous singles that aren’t very easy to forget at all. “Fill My Little World is the closest thing we have to being like your classic pop song,” says Gillespie Sells. “It’s melodic, it’s uplifting and it’s quite pleasing.” The video for the single is interesting too ~ it places the band in the midst of giant reptiles! “We decided to kind of go with this idea because it was the one that seemed the most fun really,” says Gillespie Sells. “We’ve never been afraid of making a fool of ourselves so we didn’t want anything to try and make us look cool. We just wanted something to make us look a bit daft really, because we like the idea of that.”

But it wasn’t Fill My Little World that broke The Feeling ~ they managed that feat with their debut single itself, the hook-filled Sewn. “It’s just catchy enough but at the same time interesting enough,” says Gillespie Sells about Sewn. “It stands out a little bit.” But while critics like Time Out London magazine praise The Feeling’s ‘killer choruses’, the initial reaction to Sewn was a bit mixed. “A lot of people suggested [the chorus] should have words as well,” says Jones. “I remember them going, ‘It’s nah nah, can’t you write some lyrics?’” Obviously, they didn’t. “It just works,” says Stewart, “and therefore transcends any language barrier or anything, so anyone from anywhere can sing that, which I think is good.” And in trademark style, the video for the single highlights that while they may be pop they definitely aren’t bubblegum ~ from seemingly out of nowhere, bass strings and rope entrap the band and sew Gillespie Sells’s mouth shut. “One of the things we liked about the idea for the video is that it had a certain dark humour to it,” says Jones. “There is, in a lot of our songs, that slightly dark element and it’s not very obvious. I think if you’d done a more sparkly, poppy video then you wouldn’t perhaps have noticed it so much.”

You can read the rest of our feature on The Feeling in the August 2006 issue of The Record Music Magazine available at your local newsagent.


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