A LOT has happened over the past 28 years, since rock band Feeder launched themselves onto the music scene – with a name borrowed from frontman Grant Nicholas’s pet goldfish.

The year was 1994. It saw a beleaguered Tory Prime Minister clinging onto power as his party fended over allegations of sleaze, war raging in Eastern Europe and Feeder grabbing attention with their trademark banging rock.

Well, maybe not everything is different.

But while the names have changed (Major to Johnson, Bosnia to Ukraine), Feeder are still dispensing blistering tunes unlike anything else around and attracting bigger and more eclectic crowds than ever.

“There isn’t anyone like us in the UK,” says Grant, who embarked on his own music career, pre-Feeder in Newport, South Wales, 1992.

Oxford Mail: Feeder at Newport Stadium in 2004

“No one else does what we do musically." he goes on. "I still love doing this and am very passionate. I have not lost the passion and feel more comfortable doing what I do than ever before. If you’re not into it, you might as well just stop. We’ve always believed in ourselves – and our fans know it!”

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They’ve had an enviable run, releasing 10 studio albums and 40 EPs and singles – 26 of them hitting the Top 40, spending an accumulated 185 weeks in the charts. Oh, and they’ve sold well over two million albums. And that’s just in this country; their fan base spreads around the world - and they really are very big in Japan.

Like everyone, Grant was knocked for six by the pandemic.

Their 10th album, 2019’s Tallulah – released 20 years after their first Top 10 album Yesterday Went Too Soon – debuted at number four, and Grant had a load of songs ready for a follow up, when the first lockdown hit, and everything stopped.

But Grant and bassist Taka Hirose refused to sit still. While others learned to bake banana bread, took up a keen interest in gin or tried to fight the flab with Joe Wicks, Grant penned yet more tunes – emerging with new album Torpedo... and enough for a follow up expected next year.

Oxford Mail: Feeder at Newport Stadium in 2004

Torpedo is a beast, a real product of our time and tinged with the alternating moments of darkness and light we all endured.

We get to hear it at the O2 Academy Oxford tonight (Sunday, April 24) – along with other big-hitters from the past three decades.

“We’ve been dying to play again,” Grant tells me just before heading into a rehearsal. “Everyone is the same. I can’t believe how many bands are out there; it’s a music frenzy – there are tours everywhere.”

The tour finds Grant at the top of his songwriting game.

“I’m always writing,” he says.

“ I wrote a load of songs before lockdown and then the second leg of our tour got moved, and moved again... and then didn’t happen. But after a moment in limbo, and not feeling it, I started writing again, and came up with the twin album to Tallulah.

“But it wasn’t ideal timing!”

He goes on: “We do what we do, though. We are not going to do something just to please someone; we are not going to make a jazz-funk album.”

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That said, they do mix it up. While Torpedo is pure rock, this is the band that gave us quirky Top five anthem Buck Rogers - “Get a house in Devon, Drink cider from a lemon" (or is it "Eleven"?) - and Top 10 banger Just the Way I’m Feeling, among 260-odd tunes.

“We cover a lot of ground, from pop to mellow and heavy rock," he says. "We are not restricted in any way. It’s not just guitar and drums, there’s a lot that go into this.

“From our first album we’ve tried to experiment and try new things.

“We’ve always been about the songs, and that’s given us our longevity.

Oxford Mail: Feeder at Newport Stadium in 2004

“Our music appeals to a wide range of people and we have amazing fans – from kids to diehards. You can get families at our gigs, which is amazing – and that’s not a bad place to be.”

Grant – who lives in North London, and counts Oxfordshire lad Andy Bell of Ride as a near neighbour – says he can’t wait to pitch up at the O2 Academy.

“It’s going to be an absolutely rocking night," he grins. "Come and experience some classic rock!”

  • Feeder play the O2 Academy Oxford tonight (Sunday, April 24) and continue to Southampton, Bristol and elsewhere.
  • Tickets from ticketmaster.co.uk

Tour dates


24 Oxford, Academy

26 Southampton, Guildhall

27 Bristol, Academy

29 Manchester, Academy

30 Glasgow, Barrowlands


02 Newcastle, University

03 Nottingham, Rock City

05 Birmingham, Institute

06 London, Brixton Academy


  • Torpedo is out now via Big Teeth Music


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