PHOTOGRAPHY Katie Willoughby, Nina Almond, Imogen Thomas and Will Ireland
WORDS Harley Cassidy
Do music scenes even exist anymore? We are the Internet generation, spawned by memes, retweets and the fear and knowledge that all our secrets and history are held online. We consume more than we produce and we definitely don't have to time to form factions and subcultures anymore - generally because we are far too influenced by everything we see online. You don't have to congregate with other like-minded individuals anymore for fun or entertainment or rebellion because it's drip-fed to us through technology at a faster-than-ever pace. Why go out and find another fan of The Wytches in your hometown when you can connect with @graveyardgirl, 20, from Brighton on Twitter instead? In a world where we can buy gig tickets with a click of the button, construct a whole new identity online and download a band's complete discography in minutes, is there even room for the notion of scenes anymore when we all seem more liberal-minded?
Well, I found just the antidote. Step forward, This Feeling. This Feeling is a series of gigs and club nights scattered all over the UK, showcasing the freshest (that fresh that they could have formed last week) unsigned bands purely for the love of music. Based in London, Birmingham, Manchester, Brighton, Nottingham, Leeds, Southampton, Cardiff, Leicester and Bristol, This Feeling has somehow managed to achieve the wondrous; by simply building a platform and putting people from all over the UK onto it. It's nationwide appeal has sky-rocketed within recent years and it's actually something you could describe as a music scene, because there is a group of people, meeting up continuously, playing music and existing in the real world, both in and out of London.
This Feeling wears its rock and roll sentimentality on its sleeves; from a partnership with whiskey giant Jack Daniel's, arguably the most rock and roll beverage in the world, right down to their friendship with Radio X. Curator, Mikey Jonns, is dedicated to making sure bands get the exposure they need to actually live out their dream. Having just rounded off a blistering summer at four major UK festivals where they took their Jack Rocks stage to the masses, This Feeling's star is more luminous, their fanbase bigger and their bands feistier. Without further ado, following a hugely successful stint at Leeds fest, here's seven reasons why you should know about This Feeling:
1. It Spawns Future Stars
Two of arguably the most popular indie bands in the UK right now, Blossoms and Catfish & The Bottlemen, both honed their craft through This Feeling and are now used to number one albums, sold out tours and screaming fans. Trampolene captured the attention of The Libertines, touring and penning poems with them whilst becoming regular faces of the music press who wondered who this scruffy band talking about Ketamine were. Just at Leeds festival alone we witnessed 13 This Feeling bands take on bigger stages; Tibet and White Room played the Festival Republic stage to adoring crowds, the mighty Shimmer Band set alight the prestigious BBC Introducing stage with a storming rendition of "Freedom" alongside This Feeling favorites The Wholls. However, no band set the bar higher than JUDAS, who jumped straight from their set at the Jack Rocks tent to fill in at the main stage. Their seasoned indie rock made their venture seem like a walk in the park.
2. They Have Their Own Lingo
Two words: The Zone. if you know, you know.
3. Celebrity Fans
Over the course of its ten year history, This Feeling has drawn in some of the biggest names in music. Miles Kane, Jake Bugg, Carl Barat, Kasabian and Liam and Noel Gallagher have all appeared at shows, with the latter even giving This Feeling a shoutout during his headline slot at Y Not festival this year. Football hero and indie music fan Peter Crouch regularly makes appearances, turning up at Leeds with wife Abbey Clancy to support her brother's band, JUDAS, whilst This Is England stars such as Thomas Turgoose and Vicky McClure also show their faces.
4. Their Bands Love A Good Crowd Invasion
Manchester scoundrels Cabbage always break the barrier between stage and crowd, Strange Bones won't finish a set unless they've jumped in guitar first, Hello Operator and White Room aren't strangers to crowd surfing and The Blinders were the latest new band to consort with the audience at Leeds, jumping into the mix to project their heavy surf-psych, looking and sounding like the early Wytches.
5. Their Bands Have Each Other's Backs
Perhaps the most heartfelt aspect to This Feeling is the support with which the bands give each other. They cheer each other on, big each other up, mosh to each other's sets and generally dish out compliments and goodwill backstage like it's the League of Nations.
6. They Represent Different Bands, Cultures and Backgrounds From All Over The UK
Why should bands have to disperse to London in order for their band to be successful? We all know that London isn't the place of dreams anymore and generating music from different cities gives so much more character to bands, setting them apart from the rest. This Feeling allows bands from various cities to build their fanbase at home and develop a buzz in their city before touring around the UK. The Strawberries, Dantevilles and Cupids represent the charisma of Manchester, Paves and Sisteray are as dynamic as London itself, Bang Bang Romeo and Liberty Ship are proud Sheffield acolytes and the unruly charm of the West Midlands is best showcased by The Assist, April and for pure showstopping voices, Broken Witt Rebels.
7. There's A Place For Everyone
There's no room for seclusion at This Feeling, which means anyone can join the cavalry. Photographers, DJs, journalists, event organizers, PRs, stage crew, sound technicians and more are greeted with open arms. As we all know, it takes more than just bands to put on a show and every individual behind the scenes is appreciated and celebrated with more than just a few glasses of Jack Daniels.