FEEDER played an intimate gig in front of 250 fans in EDINBURGH last night (November 19), and took the opportunity to share with the audience their feelings about the death of drummer JON LEE, admitting their grief was mixed with anger at his suicide.
The band, whose line up was expanded to four – frontman Grant Nicholas, bassist Taka Hirose, drummer Mark Richardson and additional guitarist Dean Tidey – played an 11-song acoustic set at the city’s Liquid Room venue for fans who had won tickets through competitions on Scottish Radio Holdings’ local commercial stations throughout Scotland. The gig is the second in the series of low-key shows being staged as part of The Royal Bank of Scotland’s Up-Close season.
They were in good spirits throughout the set and took a laid-back approach to the performance, re-starting a couple of songs and joking over fluff-ups, but they addressed the issue of Jon’s death directly and openly, and emphasised that they are moving forward, despite the tragedy. While answering fans’ questions in an interval during the set, Nicholas explained how his suicide in January this year had a big impact on the shape of their new album, ‘Comfort In Sound’.
“We’d already started working on the album before Jon died,” he said. “Our plan was to go away for a while, make a lot of noise, hire a house and then do the album. But after what happened, I wanted to start writing the songs which are on this album as a result of that.
“After Jon died we weren’t sure if we were going to carry on as Feeder. I started writing some songs, Taka went back to see his parents in Japan and when he came back I’d written 10 or 12 songs,” he said.
Hirose added that ‘Godzilla’ – one of the rockier of their new songs – is included on the album because it was the last song that they jammed with Jon, and they “wanted to release anger” as well.
“Okay, you can cry all the time, but at the same time we’re quite angry about, you know, what he’s done.”
Nicholas continued: “We are moving forward now. We are trying to put things behind us in some way. But Jon is never going to go away in our memories. There are songs on the album that relate to that.”
Earlier in the evening, he had dedicated ‘Quickfade’ to Jon, saying: “I don’t want to go on too much about the Jon thing; he’s here in spirit and we all miss him. This is a song about him really.”
He added: “It’s good to be back, we’ve had great support in Scotland. It’s meant a lot to us, especially after the last 10 months.”
The band, who have a full-scale tour of major UK venues lined up in January and February next year, played a total of seven songs from their recently-released fifth album, and wound up the set with a solo Nicholas performing their cover of Frankie Goes To Hollywood’s ‘The Power Of Love’, which features on the NME’s ‘1 Love’ charity album.
After the song ended, the rest of the band returned to rapturous applause, and Hirose and Nicholas spent some time afterwards meeting fans and signing autographs.
The set list for the gig ran:
‘Just The Way I’m Feeling’
‘Forget About Tomorrow’
‘Child In You’
‘Come Back Around’
‘Yesterday Went Too Soon’
Interval for questions
‘The Power Of Love’