There’s something different about being in the presence of Feet. Whether it’s the wise-cracking jokes or the knowing shift that what they’re doing is blossoming into something unstoppable - this is a band unabashed in being great but most importantly, in enjoying every move along the way.
That, or they’re buzzing that they’re in the midst of The Great Escape with packed out shows on the horizon, and for guitarist Callum, that he managed to finish his dissertation in the van down. Uni is over, and now Feet are graduating in style.
“It’s been good getting that out of the way and taking that weight off our shoulders,” points out bassist Oli, as the band gather in an empty pub looking out to the seafront. “When we’ve been at Uni we’ve been raking up good responses to things that we hadn’t even noticed because we haven’t been gigging and couldn’t see it."
Higher education’s loss is now the world’s gain because Feet aren’t like most new guitar bands swelling into view. Morphing that fiery brand of in-your-face breakdowns with an unstoppable knack for sizzling indie melody, this is the band that have the potential to not only shake rooms up and down the country but soundtrack daytime radio at the same time.
Twinkle in eyes and legs flying, they’re the best combination since chips and dips - and the best thing out of Coventry since…. well….
Frontman George (otherwise known as Jeep) ponders. “In Cov, it’s not necessarily that no one is doing anything. There are people doing things, but the consensus is it’s not happening. It’s not at the forefront of anyone’s mind, so it's quite hard to do.”
Together, they’d scrape together practices one by one, meeting each other around University and going out together, writing songs where they could when not having to scribble through assignments or when attempting to run the university’s new music and alternative society.
“I did it for one year,” explains George, “and I realised my organisational skills were terrible.”
“It’s worth noting that he was supposed to be running the society this year,” points out Harry, “we had to send an email saying give it to someone else! Had to log off the Facebook and everything.”
It’s understandable that time was at a premium. Bumping into each other across the city, they’d play together in living rooms crafting sounds and simply being in a band - an outlet and release to write songs about their lives and what was going on around them.
“I got sparked in the face the first night I met George,” Oli joyfully recalls, “I don’t know why anyone would want to punch me…”
Laughs rise up, a common thread with Feet. They’re here to have the best of times, revelling in the world that has suddenly opened up in front of them - if you don’t believe us, head onto that thing called YouTube and search for Feet TV. You’ll see exactly how much fun they get up to, whether it’s karaoke, dancing to trance music or simply laughing at it all - this is how bands should be. As neighbours back in Coventry, it meant they could dip in and out working on songs, as line-ups changed and what Feet could be started to emerge.
“Trying to find somewhere just to practice and jam is hard,” explains Harry. “In a way, it’s forced us to write songs the way we do now. An idea starts and we just record is as it’s being written, and you think where can it go? That’s how we write the songs we do."
Usually taking place late at night, the so-called ‘living room treatment’ involves them all sitting down to decipher a track - chucking ideas around no matter if it’s their instrument or not, usually around nine cups of tea deep and completely sober (“it just doesn’t work otherwise,” states Will).
It’s a sound you can hear flowing through the tracks they’ve unveiled so far - ‘Backseat Driver’ weaves and builds its way into a potent powerhouse, while ‘Macho Man’ moves with sun-kissed charm into a glorious pop gem. The latter came packaged with ‘Petty Thieving’, a shift-shaping beast that pummels a midnight drive before breaking into glinting Smiths-esque glides. It’s an ability to jump and change that matches the sounds and artists they listen to perfectly, never the same and always diverse.
“We had an idea of what we wanted to make, but if you look at playlists we’ve made on Spotify, more than half of them would have no correlation between our music,” explains Callum. “They’re just like Al Green, or Minnie Ripperton and then Kendrick Lamar.”
There’s no formula, just Feet bouncing off one another.
“I’d be curious to find out if it comes across as us?” asks Harry. “We always thought we had to have a sound. For a while we wondered, what is our sound? It comes naturally. It’s quite diverse.”
The end of 2017 saw Feet rise into attention, after being picked up by Yala! Records to release ‘Petty Thieving’ and then a bumper tour with Declan McKenna, attention now shifts to where they go next, doing things on their own terms and using the free time they now have to push on to whole new grounds. It feels like the beginning, and that’s why Feet feel so exciting.
“Now we know there’s an audience for it,” notes George, “we have to think about the way we put music out there. We want people to enjoy what we’re doing, whether that’s music or merchandise - it’s about interacting with our fans and people. We’re thinking in the back of our minds about a debut album, about a song being on a full level with sounds and everything. It’s been a big moment just listening to The Beatles more; it’s really opened our eyes”.
With a live show streaming with intensity, the figure of frontman George swaying and pulling crowds even closer and every kimono-wearing night they put under their belts - Feet are a phenomenon in waiting, and a band with the power to do things completely differently. Most importantly, doing it with a grin and a laugh. Indie has its new weaving gang, and once you catch them once, you won’t be letting go anytime soon.
“We have a ridiculous ambitions board,” cracks Harry, about to reveal those goals they’ve been waiting to dive into after Uni. “The first thing that was written there was to buy all of the really good cheese from Lidl, from all of the Lidls in the UK. The second one was headline Glastonbury or something. The third one was to have a Number One from the first album then all Number Ones forever”.
George turns and grins. “So not very ambitious.”
Cheese today, the world tomorrow. Brie can’t wait to see what comes next.
Taken from the July issue of Dork, order a copy here.
Featuring Let's Eat Grandma, Matt Maltese, Spring King, Pale Waves, Idles and more.