FEET: 'The story of a band and a pandemic: Part 2'

FEET at Andre's Hair Salon, in Muswell Hill

FEET are playing at Scala in June - Credit: Chantelle Billson

When I first began this column around a year ago, the world was in despair. My first piece reflected this.

A stark, sarcastic plea, contributing to a self-deprecating symphony of crestfallen musicians, and a bad taste in my mouth.

One year later, and Covid has been cemented as an unwelcome lodger in our daily lives. I didn’t achieve what I set out to do on that maiden voyage of an article, so I’m taking another crack at it...

Back when 2019 concluded, music still had a semblance of that utopian Thorpe Park haven that a Netflix documentary would have one believe in.

Tiktok was yet to be involved, and every step to success had a buy-it-now price tag. Our label paid our rent in Muswell Hill, stardom was in the calendar.

Then in March 2020… We along with millions of others were awoken to a new reality. With no money accumulating at the top of the tree, there was little for us to ‘play band’ with.

BBC 3’s timely renovation for their programme ‘Flat Out Fabulous’ served as a comforting distraction from the reality that we had plateaued.

Oliver Shasha

Oliver says FEET was impacted by the pandemic - Credit: Oliver Shasha

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Though as optimism rolled out, vaccines rolled in. It came around like nothing, and we had a comeback show in the diary. It only took 30 minutes. Walls draped in sweat and relief, we forgot what it was we lost.

When stripped of that feeling of playing a gig, a desired career in music can look awfully like a straight line angled at 45 degrees. You go from zero to hero overnight, and complete a bucket list that climaxes at Beatlemania and nothing less. In truth, it rarely pans out so simply. Your van breaks down. The world breaks down. These things happen.

Young musicians start a band to climb the ladder to the top, anything below that is a loss.

It took a gig-less pandemic-ruling two years to have us realise that perhaps there’s much more to it than that. Whether or not that serves as a moral to this story is another case.

Hopefully though, it serves to do what my first column for this publication failed to do, which was to be appreciative of what we had and what we continue to have to this day.

We play our biggest every show this June at London’s Scala, it’s a culmination of our perseverance to keep doing what we love, no matter what direction it takes us.

Oliver Shasha is bass guitarist for FEET.