If you watched the BBC's footage of The Feeling's Big Weekend show, you'll have seen Dan dedicating the performance to Kevin and Ciaran's dad, Les Jeremiah, who sadly passed away recently. For the latest catch-up chat, Kev and Ciaran asked if they could do a joint interview, to pay tribute to their dad.
Hi guys. We're all obviously really sorry to hear about your dad.
Ciaran: Yeah, it's been around three weeks now since it happened. He'd been leading these walking holidays for the past few years for this company called HF Holidays. He was actually leading a walk in Croatia when it happened. It was very quick and painless.
Kev: One minute he was sitting there, taking a rest and admiring the view. And then the next second he fell over and that was it. We were in Japan when it happened. We were just heading out to do the day's promo when I got a call from my mum. Obviously going out to do a day's worth of interviews after that wasn't really what we wanted to do. But we had a gig to do in the evening, so we did that, then flew home as soon as we could, leaving the other guys there. Being away would've been bad enough, but Japan is such an alien place compared to home. It was very tough being so far away from the family when it happened.
Obviously your dad was massively involved with The Feeling. No doubt a lot of the fans saw him at gigs with his famous T-shirt.
Ciaran: Of course, yes.
Kev: The story behind that was that the venue where we recorded the first album was described as "Kev's mum's shed" on the insert to the first release of 'Fill My Little World'. Dad took great offense to this, because it was his shed as well. So, thereafter, it had to be known as "Kevin and Ciaran's mum and dad's outbuilding"! So then he had the T-shirt made up, which said "Kev and Ciaran - my kids" on the front, and on the back "My shed"! He then wore that to every single gig he came to.
And he came to a lot.
Ciaran: He did. I think on the last tour he came to half of the shows. And because he travelled a lot with the walking holidays that he did, he saw us in Germany and all over the place. And he must've bought hundreds of our CDs, because he used to get us to sign them and then give them to his friends. I think he must've bought more of our albums than anyone else.
Kev: He definitely qualified for the title of Biggest Fan, if you did a cumulative ranking of CDs purchased, gigs attended and distance travelled to see gigs. It would be really nice to get comments from the fans who met him. Because he liked to show off about us, I think everyone within three square metres of him would be told that he was our dad. It'd be great if anyone who's got any stories about meeting him could post them below this. And if anyone's got any photos of him as well, maybe they could send them in. [Please email your pics to firstname.lastname@example.org]
Did he get you into music in the first place?
Ciaran: I suppose he did really. My mum and dad played Irish folk music together in folk clubs. They taught us a lot of those tunes while we were still kids and occasionally we'd go out and play them as a family. Plus they took us to music lessons and drove us to gigs. Dad would often drive us to Brighton to play gigs down there.
Kev: Ciaran and I played in a band with Paul when I was 13 and Ciaran and Paul were 12. We rehearsed out in a barn that we had where we lived at the time and then later on in the shed. So his outbuildings have been a big part of our music for a good many years!
Did he come into the shed and give you bits of advice and encouragement?
Kev: Well, he looked after us by cooking our meals for us and that sort of thing. We recorded most of the first album down there and he always took care of us. And he really liked to pop in and listen.
What was his favourite Feeling song?
Ciaran: 'Never Be Lonely' was definitely one. He used to sing that a lot around the house. And 'Love It When You Call'. Oh, and the "ring, ring, beep, beep" bit from 'Join With Us' was a particular favourite. If he'd had a couple of glasses of wine, he'd walk around the house reciting that non-stop!
He shared some amazing highs with the band in last few years.
Kev: While he was leading his holidays, he obviously meet an awful lot of people and he just used to show off about us the whole time. I think that's where all the thousands of signed copies of the album went!
Ciaran: We actually went and stayed in Croatia as a family shortly after it happened and did the walk that our dad did. So we saw where everything happened. That helped a lot. It was a really gorgeous spot. And I think he set up this actual walk didn't he Kev?
Kev: Yeah, he set up the whole holiday. HF Holidays decided that this part of Croatia would be a nice spot to take people on a walking holiday, so Dad went out with another chap called Freddie and just found all the walks and made all the connections with the hotels and local drivers. All the places you went on the days off were places he'd researched and all the walks were ones that he'd pioneered. So, basically, he created the holiday. When we went out there, it had the itinerary for the holiday on the wall and it was still in his hand-writing. It won their European Holiday of the Year award, which he was very proud of. He'd actually said a few weeks before he passed away that it was one of his favourite places in the world. So that's very comforting as well.
It must be nice to know that the holiday will continue.
Kev: Yes, and I think he helped to set up a few others too. In fact, there's loads of things he's done like that throughout his life. For example, he set up the scout group that Ciaran and I went to.
Are you guys finding it hard to concentrate on Feeling duties at the moment?
Ciaran: I think we realised fairly quickly that you can't just drop everything and not go back to it. We haven't had all that much on anyway, but we've been doing some gigs and stuff. I think one thing that's helped a lot when it's come to those is the fact that our dad would've wanted us to do them anyway. If work had to be done, he would never shy away from it himself and he would never want us to.
Kev: And all the guys in the band have been absolutely great about it, as have the record company and management. They've given us whatever time we needed, but it's actually been good to be doing gigs and be around them, because they are our best friends in the world. We've spent a lot of time with our family, obviously, but it's nice to have the support of the band as well. And playing itself is very therapeutic too.
And your dad was a big fan of the catch-ups here on the website too.
Kev: He even used to email in questions!
He certainly seemed very proud of his boys.
Ciaran: Yes, absolutely.
Kev: Friends of his who we've spoken to since he's passed away have all said that he was incredibly proud of us and that he used to talk about us non-stop. You could always spot him very easily from the stage at shows. He'd be pretty near the front, but far enough back to get a good view of the whole stage and to be able to hear the sound properly. And obviously he'd be wearing the T-shirt. Everyone else would be jumping around and waving their arms. But he'd just be standing perfectly still, with an enormous grin on his face.
Thanks to Jill for sending in her pic of Les to email@example.com. She says, "Oh Guys, I was so sad to hear of your Dad's death. I met him at the gig at the Academy in Bristol in March this year, and he was such a lovely, friendly man. He was so proud of you both, even tho he couldn't remember exactly how old Kevin is. Told me I couldn't have Kev as my toyboy cos he already has a girlfriend - pah! Have enclosed the piccy I took of him. Hugs to you both. Jill xxxx"