New album and Brighton date for The Feeling

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The Feeling hit the road this spring to celebrate, a little bit early, their 20th anniversary.

It’s the Greatest Hits tour, and that’s exactly what lead vocalist Dan Gillespie Sells is promising across dates including Concorde 2 in Brighton (support: Callum Beattie) on Thursday, May 16 and the Engine Rooms, Southampton on Saturday, May 18 (same support).

“The songs that are 20 years old, it is almost like I am playing covers sometimes,” Dan says. “It is odd because they have almost become public domain. That's how it feels sometimes because you sense that there is such a public connection with those songs. It feels that some of those songs mean more to the fans than they do to me and that's great. We've put those songs out there and you have to honour those songs. I think you have to be very aware of the audiences. I'm a fan of music, a big fan and there's something about songs that people love – you have to honour them and do them properly.

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“20 years... sometimes it seems it, and sometimes it doesn't. Sometimes it feels like it's just flown by but when we get back in the studio it feels like nothing has changed and we're back in the shed in Sussex where we made our first record.”

The Feeling (contributed pic)The Feeling (contributed pic)
The Feeling (contributed pic)

The point is that you have to have something a bit magical about a band. It has to click.

“I don't know how it works. I suppose it's the sum of its parts but I guess it's because we were all doing it for the right reasons and because we loved it. We were all getting something out of it clearly and it was the same drive to create something together. We were a bunch of musicians that had met at school and had been working been behind the scenes in the music industry for ten years before The Feeling became known. We were working as session players or doing covers as jobbing musicians but when we did our first album it was a real passion project. It was five passionate musicians making the kind of music that we wanted to hear but the kind of music that at the time nobody was playing. Why would you make music that was already out there? Basically we were harking back to particular records of maybe the late 70s and early 80s, recording an analogue sound that we loved. There was a lot of stuff from those years really inspired us, from the pre-punk era, a slightly-elaborate, harmonically-interesting style of music that appealed to us. It was ambitious and lush and beautiful and it was pop. It took a bit of time to convince people it was worth putting out as a record. We recorded it and had most of it in the can by the time we got a record deal.”

Then came the success: “As a band that was great. It meant that we could make the next record and it meant that we had a career doing something that we wanted to do. Personally, success was slightly different. Personally, I think it's unhealthy for anyone to become successful. It pulls your ego out of shape and it pulls the ego of the people around you even more out of shape.

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"But I think as a band we were quite cynical and we were aware of the pitfalls of the business and the pitfalls of the nonsense that comes with it. I think we knew a little bit about how to navigate it all but that doesn't mean that it was easy and it doesn't mean that it didn't have an effect on your family and friends.

"I'm not saying it ruined friendships but in some ways it was difficult. Being put on a pedestal is really not a good thing for anybody.