Although it may sound like you have a foot fetish when you let your family know that you’re going to see Feet in Ramsgate (“What’s so special about Ramsgate? Why do you have to go all that way just to see feet?”), it’s not actually the case; although when you add in the support act and say, “I’m going to see Malpractice with Feet”, it does conjure up even weirder imagery (It’s only slightly easier than asking, “Would you like to come and see Foals with Snapped Ankles?”). Anyway, Feet, The Archers-loving band, are mid-tour and promoting their debut album, and tonight they played Ramsgate Music Hall with support from local band Malpractice.
From Coventry to the coast, the ex-uni students; apparently bored, disillusioned with their lot and sick of pasta; made the most of their new venture and their visit to the South-East corner of Kent. Still on a high from the release of their arguably equally oddly-named album ‘What’s Inside Is Not Just Ham’ earlier this month, they played a blistering set to a sell-out crowd.
Ahead of Feet, Malpractice entertained the Music Hall audience with an energised set that they book-ended with two super-charged instrumental numbers. In-between the double-fronted band played out a lively performance with some intense guitar work from Conor Stanfield and hard driven percussion courtesy of drummer Mattie Mascarenhas. Up front Oli and boiler-suited Leon shared vocal duties as the band delivered a pumped up ‘Problems’, an impassioned ‘Hate Me’ and a proper old-school style Punk track in ‘Don’t Care’. By the end, T-shirts had been discarded, shoes removed and sweat dripped from them all as they tore into ‘Kings Of Destruction’.
Feet took to the stage shortly after 9;30pm for their first appearance in Ramsgate. On a night when it felt like the roof might be torn off the venue as leaves and other random debris were being blown around furiously outside, it was rather apt that they opened up with ‘English Weather’. Feet eased the crowd in with their lighter, funkier tracks heading up the setlist. An almost melodic ‘Axe Man’ followed ‘English Weather’ before the harmonious ‘Chalet 47’.
The evening took its turn at track four, listed alternately as ‘Hot Dog’ but actually the title track from their debut album. ‘What’s Inside Is More Than Just Ham’ excited the mosh pit and saw the crowd in full flow, pushing forward onto the stage and then washing back to regain balance. It was like a manic full body Mexican wave. Even at the doo-wop breakdown you could see the eagerness in the eyes of the youthful and wannabe youthful ready to go again when the beat dropped. “You’re warmed up then”, noted lead singer Jeep.
The remainder of the set comprised the remainder of the album in alternative order. The ten track album gave rise to a ten track setlist. There were no curve balls, no covers and no surprises in terms of songs but the ones they did play, their catalogue to date, were showcased brilliantly. ‘Ad Blue’ whipped up the audience still further as the RMH room moved in unison. An almost theatrical ‘Dog Walking’ followed with Jeep doing his best Marcel Marceau dog walking mime coupled with bemused bewilderment as he sang out “Who’s dog is this?”
‘Wiggy Pop’ slowed things down briefly before the quintet of Feet ramped things up for a blistering, riotous three track finale. The album’s opening track ‘Good Richard’s Crash Landing’ started the trio of tracks that would close out the night before the stand-out track of the night, ‘Petty Thieving’. Jeep took a breath and gathered himself before beckoning the crowd forward as he performed in the restricted space of the Music Hall stage. As he fed off the energy from the crowd he leaned into them, stretching himself across them as he clung on to the air-con duct above him. The enthusiastic crowd were completely captivated as they stared on, mesmerised. A brief and intense ‘Outer Rim’ capped off a frenzied, full-on performance.
On stage “there was barely enough space to make shapes” Jeep said, but “this is definitely not the last time we’ll come to Ramsgate”. A show by a band called Feet singing songs about, amongst other things, supermarket trousers, service station toilets and diesel additives may not sound like a winner, but it was. Ten tracks delivered at breakneck speed to the delight of a sell-out crowd. It’s what Friday nights were made for.