Monday, 12 September 2016

LIVE: The Hoosiers at O2 Academy Islington (3/9/16)

Last weekend I caught my first proper gig in a few weeks, seeing my absolute favourite guys The Hoosiers play their last headline show for a while, a big London gig. I've seen them play in various places and to much bigger crowds at a couple of small festivals, but this was my first time seeing them play a London show so it was a pretty special one for me. As the first band whose music really stuck with me since the first record back in 2007 when I was starting secondary school, the first proper gig I went to and a band through which I've made a lot of friends, I think of them as the root of a lot of my current passion for music. I definitely think it goes without saying that my love of the band and their music has been pretty formative in my life so they'll always hold a really special place in my heart (not to mention the fact that they're some of the loveliest guys I've had the pleasure of meeting at various shows) and it's always great to catch them live. 
The show was also pretty exciting as I'm interviewing people about it for my dissertation, for which I've chosen to study live music, looking at the motivations of people attending live music events. I love going to gigs and have had some of my best experiences at them, and generally, I'm interested in finding out why other people go to shows. Specifically, I think it can be pretty heartbreaking to see a great band play to a non-capacity crowd, and with revenue from live music being of increasing importance to artists, I think it's important for promoters to understand why people go to shows (as well as the various types of people that go to their shows). This is in the hope that they can more successfully promote their shows to these various audiences, benefitting both the promoter and the artists, and helping more people to have a great time. I'm planning to focus upon a Sofar Sounds show too so that I can compare the two (quite different) gigs and the different reasons people have for attending them. I'm currently interviewing some people who attended the show last weekend, which I'm loving as it's always great to discuss a mutual interest, and I love hearing the lovely things people have to say about the guys.

As there were four support acts (four?!) it felt quite a long night and it meant that the guys' set was a little shorter than it probably should've been considering it was their headline show, but it was one of my favourite times seeing the band play... perhaps it's the fact it was a London show and a London crowd, but it felt extra fun, and Irwin's falsettos (often one of the highlights of their live shows) were on a completely different level.. I loved that every time his voice went high, the guys stood in front of me looked at each other in complete amazement. As if the show itself weren't great enough, Irwin and Al were sweet enough to allow me into their dressing room to ask them some questions for my project. My first face-to-face interview and it's with my favourite band... not bad going! It's crazy to think what 11/12 year old me would've thought, faced with the idea of being backstage with the guys and chatting to them!


It's pretty bizarre to think that with the first record being released in 2007, I've been a fan for almost half of my life, and at the show on Saturday, Al properly announced that they'll be returning in 2017 for a ten year anniversary tour, playing the record in its entirety for the first time. Huge sadness however as Sam, who has played keys and sang backing vocals with they guys for a long time, is leaving the band and Saturday was his last show... he's off to release his solo music and work on some other projects and I'm excited for him but it's always terribly sad when a member of your favourite band leaves! Of course we're all holding out a tiny hope that they'll reunite with Martin as part of the anniversary tour but who knows?! For now, Irwin's off to star in Big the Musical with an all-star cast, which runs in Portsmouth and Dublin over November and December, hopefully being followed by a run in the West End! Seems a right time to put some music in this post... a video of the guys performing probably my favourite track of theirs, Everything Goes Dark, acoustically in Worcester last November.


In the meantime, if you've made it this far through the post and you're wondering how the guys are still gigging off the back of the first album - they've since released three more records including last October's The Secret Service. Details of all the releases is on their site here where you'll also find news about live shows as and when they happen!

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