Ciaran Jeremiah, keyboard player from The Feeling on his Sussex roots

The Feeling ©Thomas Oxley photography

The Feeling ©Thomas Oxley photography - Credit: Tom Oxley

BRIT award-nominated band The Feeling hail from London and Horsham. Here, Alice Cooke talks to keyboard player Ciaran Jeremiah about his Sussex roots

I catch up with Ciaran ahead of The Feeling’s UK-wide tour that kicks off at the beginning of this month, and he is understandably excited to be going back on the road. “I’m really looking forward to it,” he says. “We did a few gigs in a row last year, but I was definitely left wanting more.” I ask him why he enjoys being on tour so much with the BRIT award-nominated band. “It’s the team thing really,” he answers. “You’re such a unit up there on stage, and it’s about all being in it together for that moment in time. You’re giving the audience your heart and soul, and it’s so amazing to be able to share that experience with the rest of the band. It’s all of you together against the world.” It isn’t all work and no play, he admits, but he says that as a band, they always try to give it their all. “Every day culminates in the performance that evening, and we really do give it 100 per cent. It’s about crafting something, and it has to be the best that we can offer. We give it everything.”

Brighton will be the last date on the tour on 24 March, and Ciaran is delighted to be able to perform in Sussex, where he and brother Kevin grew up. “Sussex was a fantastic place to start my music career,” he says. “I spent all my free time at school making music with friends. I was really lucky to have some fantastic music departments at my disposal.” Beyond school, he says that the county is “a hotbed of talent,” with “a fantastic music scene, especially in and around Brighton. There are so many like-minded people to bounce off, jam with and take inspiration from.”

Shortly after the band formed, they moved up to London so that they could all be in the same place, but Ciaran says that Sussex is a great place for budding musicians to get started. I ask him what his advice would be for others in the area, wanting to break into the industry. “Just hang out as much as you can,” comes his response. “Write, practise, play all the time. Just be together. Do listen to the critics but not too much – take criticism but don’t keep changing yourselves – do what you do, and be true to you.” This, he says, is how The Feeling really made a go of it as a band, first in Sussex, and then in London.

The band’s first album was recorded and versed in Horsham, at Ciarans’ parents’ old house. “The song Rosé was inspired by our local Tesco,” he says chuckling. “Where we used to hang out and, well, buy rosé!” Apart from this fond memory, he says that although they’re now all spread out geographically (he lives in Hertfordshire), he will always have a strong affinity with Sussex. “It will always hold a special place in my heart.” Ciaran’s mother still lives near Horsham, and it is the pace of life here that he misses the most, even when performing around the world. This year the band will be performing in America and Germany, as well as touring the UK to play at festivals. “The peace and quiet of Sussex is unrivalled,” he says. “You don’t realise how frantic you become, being surrounded by such a pace of life, until you come back home to Sussex. It will always be my place to escape to, my retreat.”