Feelers frontman James Reid opens up his songbook

Throughout the nineties and noughties, you couldn't switch the radio on without hearing something by The Feelers.

While things are a little quieter these days for the band, frontman James Reid's as busy as ever. He's taking his acoustic guitar around the country to strip back the songs and tell a few tales.

"It is me at this stage, but I'm sure I'll pick up some people along the way, as you do!" he told Newshub.

Reid's digging deep for his fourteen-date "Songbook" tour; he's not just playing the big cities, and he's not just playing the hits.

"It is interesting to play some songs you haven't played for years, and you're actually pleasantly surprised, you just sorta go 'oh, actually I do know that now!'" he laughs

While the likes of the Methven Blue Pub or the Whangarei Butter Factory are a far cry from the arenas he plays with The Feelers, Reid believes the intimacy means more to the audience.

"It's more the interaction with the audience and with everybody, so it's a sort of team effort of how to enjoy the evening," Reid said.

The shows have a loose feel. He's playing hits and deep cuts from The Feelers, solo material, telling some stories, and even taking requests.

"It is fun for people who are, like you say, fans, big fans that are wanting to hear those other songs they might never hear," he explains.

While some Feelers songs lend themselves to acoustic interpretation, some of the harder rockers will be a little more interesting. But Reid said that's where all of them come from.

"I tend to write on the acoustic guitar anyway, so that's kind of where the songs start. So I can strip everything back and go back to where it was originally written."

The tour is capping off a busy year for Reid. He's releasing a new EP called Too Close to the Sun, which will only be available at the gigs, and he popped up on Three's The Block at a Mexican-themed dinner party.

The veteran singer-songwriter laughs off whatever awkwardness came out of the appearance.

"Look, nothing surprises me these days. It doesn't touch the iceberg!" he said.

With the first new Feelers album since 2011 due in April, and more solo material on the way, 2020's looking like it'll be even busier.


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