The Features

posted 19 Feb 2010, 06:25 by Harry Cooke
Proud Gallery Camden, London
13th February 2010

by Harry Cooke

Having an art gallery which doubles as a live music venue is a tried and tested way of showcasing new music; the attendees are duly interested in the bands who perform, but have come to hear something new and may not know who they are coming to see. This, along with the running order removed the feeling of a 'headline act' for the night but couldn't stop the brilliance of the band nestled in the middle slot (between "Life In Film" and "Stricken City") from shining out.

While the other bands are relative newcomers to the scene, The Features have been in existence since 1994. Hailing from a town near Nashville Tennessee, frequently lauded "the next big thing" by critics, but never quite gaining the appreciation and commercial success they warrant. It could be that their British influenced Southern Rock was before its time, or a rocky relationship with their previous label left them without the backing they needed.

The second crack at the whip given to them by signing as Kings of Leon's first project on their newly created label (Serpents And Snakes) could be the catalyst they need to be propelled to the big league. 

The set was short, as expected from a showcase night, so The Features crammed in plenty of tracks with masses of energy and a frenetic pace with confidence that only years of touring can bring. You felt that every band member gave everything and this translated to a fantastic reception from the now packed-out venue. Thanks to Matt Pelham's excellent vocals The Features can switch from heavier songs to much softer tracks effortlessly, having a keyboardist in the band helps to broaden the range of styles available and they utilise this well. 


One unexpected difference in the live set compared with the soon to be released album "Some Kind Of Salvation" was the lack of a saxophone. I didn't feel that this let the band down in any way in their live performance, but it changed the dimension of the songs, especially when the missing instrument is so recognisable.


I'm sure this has been said many times down the years, but if you get a chance, go and see The Features before they get big. With a US tour with Biffy Clyro and Manchester Orchestra (following their success backing Kings of Leon in the states), there is undoubtedly going to be more exposure for this gem of a band, and with anthemic excellence in the form of “Temporary Blues in their arsenal, this band ought to be around for a while yet.