Feet

Feet

Event Time Wed 13th Nov at 7:30pm-Wed 13th Nov at 11:00pm
Event Location Yellow Arch Studios, Sheffield
Age Restrictions
Age restrictions: 16+, under 18s with adult
Yellow Arch Studios
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Feet

When FEET self-released their debut album in 2019, the group offered up a particularly oblique title: What’s Inside Is More Than Just Ham.

But once fans and casual listeners alike delved into the record, it didn’t take long to realise that the band were offering something far meatier than wafer-slim slices of that eponymous sandwich filling. Instead, here was a record that saw them carving up thick slabs of guitar music that careered wildly between flavours of indie-pop, psych, and even subtle shades of new wave across an exciting and brilliantly unpredictable 35 minutes.

The album attracted acclaim from music titles across the land, but there was praise for the band’s bold visuals too. The video for ‘Petty Thieving’, one of the band’s early standouts, came accompanied by a video that saw them donning armour and chainmail to stage the silliest Medieval fight since Monty Python and the Holy Grail.

Since then, FEET have been slowly readying themselves for a grand return. 2021’s Walking Machine EP showed that their reputation for jagged guitars and spiky lyrics remains firmly intact, while prominent live shows have seen them supporting the likes of Inhaler and even The Rolling Stones at their huge 2022 Hyde Park shows.

But all of it, the band say, has been leading to this: the start of a new era that will beckon in their anticipated second album.

The first taste comes today in the form of comeback single The Real Thing, which bounds along with spiky guitar lines, an endearingly wonky groove, and the razor-sharp pen of frontman George Haverson.

“Am I in-between, something more like a dream, or is this The Real Thing”, Haverson posits on the track.

The answer to his question, you sense, is that it’s very much the real thing in all senses. It feels like a massive step up for a band who are clearly ready to make their anticipated return and grab it with both hands.

As Haverson explains, it’s the sound of a band who have become more regimented with their approach in the search for greatness.

“There’s no throw away ideas on this album and everything has to have its place. It has to be ironed out and perfected,” he says.

“I don’t like to say polished, but it is perfected to a point where everything can be done in its fullest form. I feel like we’ve got 12 complete songs on this album and not 12 ideas. We’ve made the FEET machine and now it’s a case of inserting the right idea and the output is a great song. Before, it felt a bit more like we were throwing shit at the wall. This time round, everything feels a bit more refined.”

One full listen to their second album – the upcoming Make It Up which arrives on Submarine Cat Records – shows exactly what Haverson means.

It’s a cohesive and fully formed record that builds on the sonic DNA of their debut, while effortlessly taking it to the next level too. The first track ‘Better Than Last’ is defined by its flitting guitars and airy groove, while another standout comes in ‘Greasy Boy’ – a charming slow-burner that grows into something quite magnificent.

All of this, the band explain, is defined by a newfound identity and understanding of what the nature of their own friendship as bandmates is too.

“We spend a bit less time together,” he explains – having written their debut album in eclectic places such as a caravan and even a brief spell when the band stayed in a Bournemouth retirement village.

“But the time we spend together is valued so highly. In fact, I wouldn’t say that this album took five years to write. It just took three or four years for us to gel in an entirely different way. We’ve shed our skins and we’ve developed in quite a major way, which I think we need to do before we began working on a second album. Instead, I think there’s a lot of our lived experience in there and that made this album really easy to write.

“Everyone’s roles in this band are so defined now that we’re coming at the same ideas, but we’ve each got our own perspective.”

He adds: “Being in a band is a big chunk of time in your life, but this is a choice we all make, and we don’t ever have to even think about coming back to FEET. It’s like our child, really, and we’re all the surrogate fathers of this band! That keeps us together, this desire to create and make something that’s truly great.”

Another thing that comes across in the record is Haverson’s confidence as a lyricist too. The bold visions of their debut album remain, but it’s tempered with the life experience of a man who has been up to other things in the last five years.

“I saw this whole other side of George in these songs,” says drummer Ben Firth.

They also boast a great producer in Andy Savours, who has previously been behind the mixing desk for some of Britain’s most boundary-pushing bands of the last decade – including Black Country New Road and The Horrors.

“Spending five weeks with him as well as in the studio, it felt like a home from home and he created the atmosphere of the album. He’s the one who created the sparseness of it and added the bells and whistles on it,” says Firth.

And the through-line through it all, they explain, is a desire to create great guitar music.

“When we constructed this album, we wanted to keep it very simple in the way we did everything and that’s because I want people to listen to the album and be able to play it too. I want kids to pick up guitars like we all did when we were 14 or 15 and sit in the practice room and learn them at lunchtime,” says Haverson. “That’s our whole ethos as a band and our general creative output. It needs to be accessible and repeatable.”

A very welcome return, then, for one of Britain’s most inventive bands, starting a new chapter afresh that builds on the brilliance of their first outing and takes it to a new level entirely. 2024, it’s fair to say, is ready for Feet to stomp all over it.

Venue

Yellow Arch Studios
30-36 Burton Rd, Neepsend, Sheffield S3 8BX, UK
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