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Features - 100 Club, London, 27/5/2004

  by Daniel Cressey

published: 13 / 6 / 2004

Features - 100 Club, London, 27/5/2004


Tennessee pop rock act the Features recently played a headlining British tour. In the newly air-conditioned and now smoke-free London 100 Club, Daniel Cressey finds them able to maintain a distinct edge

Tennessee band the Features are about half way through their UK tour when they appear at London’s newly air-conditioned 100 Club. A cool (in the literal sense) and smoke-free venue may face charges of having lost some of its edge but thankfully the same cannot be said for the Features. In the time since they last appeared in London – third on the bill at Camden’s Dublin Castle – the Features have further honed their pop-rock sensibilities. Singer Matt Pelham’s voice drifts pleasantly over the band catchy riffs, and the ‘na na na’s and ‘do do do’ s that they seem to love peppering their songs with are perfectly placed. Brilliantly named keyboard player Parrish Yaw – surrounded by quite a menagerie of devices – adds pleasant little musical interludes to Pelham’s singing. Last year’s ‘The Beginning EP’ is mainly ignored although recent release ‘There’s a Million Ways to Sing the Blues’ get a look-in. But the Features have easily enough songs to fill the slightly short set – including the wonderful ode to vinyl listening that is ‘Blow It Out’ (from the forthcoming ‘Exhibit A’ album): “Sometimes I’m up, sometimes I’m down. Other times I’m probably found between two huge, speakers driven by vacuum tubes.” How Pelham can afford a valve amplifier off the back of two singles and an EP is left unexplained. With a plethora of future hits and a hugely enjoyable live act, the Features are worth watching – and most definitely worth listening to.

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