Aqualung and HeadwayEdit this event
Looks like Headway are another scruffy bunch of wide-eyed indiemongers off a conveyor belt that doesn’t exist. They employ stratospheric guitars, soak them in pop sensibility, turn up the distortion levels so that Starsailor won’t sue and stick on a big rock n’ roll ending so that they can leave the building without being spat on by snotty punks. And it works.
As does being knocked down with a feather. A silver-tipped chrome steel feather, but a feather nonetheless. Sensitivity is something that Aqualung thrive on, but it's testament to the power of the haunting ballad that they almost immediately knock everyone sideways (i.e. make them sway). Plaintive ivory tinklings abound, plus the odd bulging mass of sound from ‘If I Fall’ and the alarmingly David Gray-like wobbling of the head. They look so fragile that Chris Martin could probably snap them in half, but I for one can’t remember the last time that lighters were held aloft to the sound of a car advert, so evidently they’re sharp with it. Methinks the crowdsurfers were being ironic, mind.
And then there’s Feeder, garage-pop’s angelic upstarts turned glistening indie tunesmiths who tonight, as you’d expect, deliver both. They’re still promoting their first album since the tragic departure of their beloved drummer Jon Lee, and so a lot of their back catalogue has taken on a poignant new meaning – it’s doubtful whether ‘High’, ‘Yesterday Went Too Soon’ et al will ever be heard with dry eyes again. Equally majestic are their newest songs from ‘Comfort In Sound’, amongst them some of the most bittersweet hooks heard in rock for some time – so effortlessly heartbreaking are songs such as ‘Quick Fade’ (with its _“I miss you more than words can say” refrain) that it’s almost excruciating. But Feeder aren’t a band loved out of pity. They’re loved because they can play solo acoustic guitar songs, bounce their way with wilful abandon through ‘Waiting For Changes’ and ‘Insomnia’, make whole legions of people go weak at the knees with ‘Just The Way I’m Feeling’, scream some babble about lemon cider and customarily get the audience chanting the riff to ‘Just A Day’ before the song is even hinted at. And get some underwear thrown at them. Another triumph while still overshadowed by tragedy and, although they’re still unlikely to drastically alter the musical climate, for their sheer energy and abundance of brilliant tunes alone we salute them.
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