The Feeling play Chichester’s Priory Park Festival on Saturday, July 9 on the back of the release of their fifth album, an album called simply The Feeling.
Frontman Dan Gillespie Sells feels they have captured their own sound at last.
“We have had a great reaction to it,” he says.
“We knew it was going to be good when we heard it mixed, but we knew we were taking a risk by recording it the way we did, basically by doing everything live, just recording everything as is, without overdubbing.
“We wanted it to sound exactly as we do when we play live.
“A lot of people over the years have said to us (after gigs) ‘Why don’t you sound this rocky on your records?’ or whatever.
“They say there is something extra that you get at the concerts, and we realised that thing you get is five people reacting spontaneously to each other. We decided to go back and record in the way that a lot of our heroes did, just go in there, press the red button and let it roll.
“The modern conventional way is to lay down the drum track, and then maybe you put the bass on, and then you add and add, building it up piece by piece, and that’s great and that’s fine. But we didn’t want that. We didn’t want click tracks. If you speed up, you speed up and that’s fine. If you slow down, you slow down.”
The band had the confidence they could do it.
“We have been playing together as a band for 20 years now. We had our ten years together first in the wilderness before it all took off.
“We were just going around playing and doing all kinds of stuff, but basically we have been playing together since we were 16.”
And maybe that explains why the band has lasted the course across ten years now of success.
“We managed to sustain ten years of failure. Sustaining ten years of success is much easier! But yes, there was pressure when it happened for us.
“That was part of success. It was hard to know where to go next after the first album.
“The first album was such a surprise that it was successful. Our style was to be deliberately unfashionable, like two fingers up at supercool rock. We wanted our music to be pop with hooks and harmonies and all the things that weren’t cool in 2006, and yet it worked. We did it more as an experiment, and then when it was successful, it was suddenly fashionable and you are thinking what next, so what do you do?”
Catchiness has always been important, but so too has substance: “I know I am good at writing hooks, but that does not mean that I am a good songwriter. You need to give the song substance and a purpose. It’s fine if that purpose is that it is something to dance to on a Saturday night. You just need a purpose.”
And with the latest album, they’ve found themselves.
“It is called The Feeling because it is probably the album that is the most stripped-bare and honest and just five instruments in a room and the album where you can hear the members really gelling as a band.
“Our fourth album was our return to form after a third album that wasn’t brilliant. The fourth album was a really solid album where we wrote what we needed to write. We are really pleased with this album now.”
Tickets for the three-day Priory Park Festival, part of the Festival of Chichester, are available from www.chichesterlive.co.uk.
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