The (no) Feeling play Barcelona.
Fear and Loathing in Catalonia. The sun was high in the sky and we had just consumed uno cerveza double and a hot dog and who was to know what horror was about to unfold, not even the bats circling in the sky was adequate warning.
Recalling a drunken conversation with flatmate Jill about how she thought The Feeling were not too bad and that some lightening up wouldn't kill this writer, the show was observed from a safe distance (and for the record, Jill's taste in music is usually a million miles better than this band). A safer distance may have been back home in Scotland.
Simply put, The Feeling are ex-session musicians and they largely appeal to people who don't like a lot of music. Phil Collins fans, people who pick up a few albums a year. Of course they still like music just not in a real way.
If you asked The Feeling for an opinion on Parliament, they would likely smile and witter on about Tony Blair and hum and haw before they decide whether to criticise or pity him. Which for a band is wrong, you want a band when asked about Parliament to launch into a rant about George Clinton and the merits of Funkadelic. The Feeling don't strike you as a band that have many feelings about anything really.
The show itself was highly predictable really, main stage early doors pleasing type of meanderings, that's been done many times before and much better than this.
They actually use one of their songs as their introduction tape. Sure it's given a Jeff Lynne sugar coated treatment and the band would likely claim it's tongue in cheek but walking onstage to your own song is just wrong and perhaps indicates that they couldn't find the Michael Bolton cd to play backstage.
In their head, the band probably thought this version of 'Fill My Little World' touched the hem of Phil Spector or Brian Wilson but tragically, it falls short of the average ness of Hall and Oates. An act being compared poorly to Hall and Oates eh, someone should call the Guinness Book of Records because that may just be a first.
I'm sure The Feeling are all very nice guys and they love their mums dearly but it was just so bland and staid; they lacked any soul or great conviction in what they were doing.
The keyboards were right at the front of everything they did and the vocals seemed quite murky but given that they were first on the main stage, it would be churlish to criticise them for that.
With first hit 'Sewn' appearing third in the set, the small crowd down the front appeared to get into it, but for a song with the lyrics "Give me the song and I'll sing it like I mean it", you get the impression they could be singing from a shopping list and give it the same (lack of) passion.
Hilariously enough, two tracks later the lead singer launches into a pre-song chat that manages to namecheck Tesco (which he thankfully told the crowd was a supermarket) and discussed how the band didn't really want to make an album or get a record deal.
Let's recap that again, discussed how the band didn't really want to make an album or get a record deal. Yes, that's right, so why are they doing it? Possibly this playing music and travelling the world lark beats working in an office for a year or two and it pays the way. Perhaps they don't like the spotlight and would rather return to the glory days of being the backing band for moon-faced Sophie Ellis Bexter and get to perform on Richard and Judy as the credits roll. Even now, a few days and hundreds of miles away from Barcelona, this attitude still rankles.
They get the chance to make an album and play to loads of people around the world and they have the cheek to moan about it, good lord, that'd be like me knocking back the chance of an evening with Kate Moss, or having the 'evening' and then moaning about it.
You might feel like eating a whole box of Milk Tray in one sitting but you'd likely throw up after it, and it was around here that there was fears that the hotdog may make another reappearance.
With the forthcoming UK single having local commercial radio written all over and a stadium clap-along section just waiting to be joined in, it's perhaps inevitable that The Feeling will rise up the UK music industry ladder and next summer could see them play in some decent sized arenas. It doesn't make them any less despicable though.