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Live Review: FEELDS w/ Merpire & Bill @ The Catfish – 23.02.2018


Photo: Kirsty R. Hill

Excitement levels were high as an early crowd began to build for FEELDS’ sold out show at The Catfish in Melbourne. Launching his debut EP, Hunch, Feelds was supported by the all female lineup of Merpire and Bill, who opened the night with a solo set.

Showcasing songs off his 2017 album, Forklifts, Girls & Time Alone, Bill confidently soared through an impressive and hilarious set, which included brand new material and trivia sessions about FEELDS’ frontman and old friend, James Seymour. Dry wit was evident in both banter and songs with single, Truck or Two and the Thought of You proving to be a set highlight and a hit with the early crowd.

Merpire took to the stage next—armed with a five-piece band for the very first time. Having only recently made the shift from Sydney to Melbourne, lead singer, Rhiannon Atkinson-Howatt looked more than comfortable with her surroundings, not giving away the fact that this was a debut show. The band’s self-assurance grew with each song and by the time they reached set closer and most recent single, Hauntways, it was obvious that the crowd wanted much, much more. With a diverse list of songs reminiscent of St. Vincent and Kate Bush, Merpire’s path towards her EP is set to be a very exciting one.

As the heat levels rose in The Catfish, eager punters pushed in a little closer to catch the magic of FEELDS and his full band, who have only played a handful of shows together. Kicking off the set with Gathering / Crazy Neighbours, the full lineup sounded tighter than ever, with custom visuals enhancing the already captivating stage. A take on The Turtles’ classic, Happy Together kicked everyone’s dancing shoes into gear before Merpire joined the band on stage for the brooding new track, Bloody Mary, which the pair wrote together.

Apples and Full Grown displayed a more delicate side to the set and ‘Hunch’ single Circle showed why it’s had so much attention recently, with drums and synths (plus guest sax / clarinet) combining to form an epic layer of sound around Seymour’s howling vocals. Old favourite, An Able Beast nearly closed the show, before a choir of friends joined FEELDS on stage for encore song, Dress My Eyes, ending a brilliant night, showcasing some incredible, upcoming talent.

FEELDS Live Dates

Waywards, Sydney
w/ Merpire

Written by John Zebra