The Feeling talk ahead of Birmingham show
The Feeling will perform their celebrated million-selling album Twelve Stops And Home when they hit the road for their first tour in two years.
It’s been 12 years since the acclaimed album’s release and the band will headline Birmingham Town Hall on October 22.
Twelve Stops And Home – named after the Piccadilly Line journey from Leicester Square to frontman’s Dan Gillespie Sells’ home stop of Bounds Green – was originally released on June 5, 2006. Despite being largely self-recorded in the garden shed of Ciaran and Kevin Jeremiah’s parents’ Sussex home, the album was a hit-the-ground-running masterpiece of fiercely infectious, life-affirming pop, pitched in the rainbow-coloured realm between Queen, Scissor Sisters, ELO and Supertramp.
Five of the album’s big-hearted and velcro-catchy songs became hit singles (Sewn, Fill My Little World, Never Be Lonely, Rose and Love It When You Call), helping the band to become the most-played act on British radio in 2006, and earning them the Ivor Novello Award for Songwriters of the Year.
Dan is looking forward to the tour. He says: “I’m so excited to be playing with the band again. To be performing an album that has always meant so much to me is going to be quite an experience. .
“When we recorded it we didn’t think it was necessarily going to be a record. We were a bunch of lads working in a shed to create the kind of music we wanted to because we were doing what musicians do. I don’t think we were the most ambitious people in the world. We were just artistically ambitious, so we didn’t really think about it. We’ve had a career very much based on: ‘Do the work, see what happens’.”
We caught up with Dan to talk about the tour:
The music has resonated with people and stood the test of time. It must take you back to certain points in your life when you hear the album again . . .
“It’s been very emotional actually. We re-issued the album and in doing that we wanted to re-master it and create a double vinyl version of it and a re-mastered CD and add a load of extra content that we didn’t have, that was never released before. It meant going back through an archive of stuff. That was emotional because it brought back a lot of memories. Things we’d all forgotten suddenly leap up from an old interview or a picture or an old demo that never even made it as far as the record. You listen to it and, wow it brings you right back to that time. That pure innocent time pre-fame and pre-success and all of that.”
When you launched 12 Stops there was a press trip to Paris. Do you remember that?
“Those were the days when the record label put a record out they really went for it!”
Did you feel like a pop star when the album came out or was there another defining moment?
“There are several moments of where archetypal rock star things happened. Because they never feel how you expected them to feel you’re often left going: ‘Oh, OK, so that happened. I don’t feel any different’. You feel like the same person and have all the same insecurities that follow you around that you expect to disappear as soon as you become ‘successful’. They’re still there.”
“Normal human insecurities. You look at a rock star and think: ‘This person is completely free of any self-consciousness or whatever’ but actually the truth is you’re not. You’re still the same person, you’ve just got a lot more attention. That doesn’t make it easier, in fact sometimes makes it a lot harder.”
What have been your career highlights?
“There were moments like when we played Wembley Stadium. We played Wembley Stadium a couple of times. A Princess Diana tribute concert, where we were playing to a full stadium, singing your music back to you is powerful and almost surreal. The rest of it you can be cynical about. You can be cynical about record companies spending a lot of money on you because that happens all the time. Even radio play you can be quite cynical about: ‘OK, I’m on the playlist now but will I be tomorrow?’ There’s certain things like when you do your first Top Of The Pops that they can never take away. For our generation that was the thing – one day you’ll be on Top Of The Pops. That’s the real stuff that’s exciting. You’re part of culture for a minute.”