Published: 8 April 2010
by ROISIN GADELRAB
MATT Pelham’s thinking of coffee and cigarettes.
The lead singer of The Features – such a favourite of Kings of Leon that they’re the first to be signed to KoL’s label – is struggling to sound awake as they hit the final leg of a six-week US tour.
He’s managed one interview this morning from his New Jersey hotel and he’s putting off his vices until after he speaks to Grooves.
The Features, who recently played three dates in Camden Town, are returning this month to play the Barfly (April 19), before supporting KoL at Hyde Park on June 30.
But Matt’s not so interested in the Hyde Park gig. He said: “I prefer playing smaller, more intimate venues. Outdoor shows seem really impersonal and people are just kind of walking around – I’m sure it’ll be fun but I won’t be the most excited person there.
“I’ll be more excited about (playing Barfly). If there’s 100 people at that show I’ll be way more happy than playing in front of 65,000 at Hyde Park.”
A past experience playing in Memphis, contributed to his dislike of outdoor gigs, but he says: “I hated them way before that. We played this outdoor show at a college and it was freezing outside. Our hands were frozen, the set was awful. Everything was compromised by the weather. It was probably the most stupid show we’ve ever played.”
Although the Press are repeatedly reminded of Kings of Leon’s decision to sign The Features to their Serpents and Snakes label, Matt’s not one to hype up the connection.
They may go for the odd drink if touring together, he says, but added: “It’s been really nice knowing these guys for a while. They’re fans of ours and wanted to help us out. We don’t really talk a lot. They’re gone a lot and doing their own thing.”
The Features spent a good week in Camden in February, where Matt managed a bit of detective work.
“I headed straight for the market,” he says. “A good friend of ours did a lot of T-shirt designing for Threadless and there was some booth there that had bootlegged two or three of his shirts. It was pretty funny. I’ve been meaning to tell him, I took a pic of it so we could show him.”
Matt says he is looking forward to returning home to his eight-year-old twin daughters, his wife, chickens and home just outside Nashville.
He said: “We’re going back down the east coast towards home which is nice. I really like playing live and touring but don’t like doing it for a really long stretch with no breaks and not being able to go home.”
And they’re not averse to playing the odd trick on bands they are touring with, the most recent victim being the lead singer of Manchester Orchestra.
Matt says: “Our drummer has been taking these dried shrimp we got at a gas station, they look pretty gross and placing them where Andy, the singer will find them. He stuck a dried shrimp on his pillow. Then put a dried shrimp in a paper bag and had a girl in the front row hand him the dried shrimp in the middle of a show and he didn’t know what it was – it was pretty funny.”