Thursday 5 October 2017

LIVE: The Hoosiers at The Bodega, Nottingham (29/9/17)

Rewind ten years and you'll find The Hoosiers gearing up to release their debut album The Trick To Life, which quickly became a cult classic, reaching number one in the album chart and propelling them into the spotlight. If you can't recall the band by their name, you'll almost certainly know the hits Goodbye Mr AWorried About Ray and Cops and Robbers (and most likely remember all of the lyrics!) Return to the current day and a lot has changed for the band, with the departure from their major label a few years back, line-up changes, and three further records under their belt (listen to them all on Spotify.) Ten years on from the first record in 2007, they've just kicked off a tour to celebrate it's anniversary, and I was lucky to head to the first night of the tour last Friday at The Bodega in Nottingham!

Having been a huge fan since the first album was released, I first saw the band live in May 2011 when they toured to promote their second album. I'd been to a couple of open air concerts in my hometown before but this was the first gig that I begged my parents to take me to so it was a pretty big deal! Since then the band have been super important in my life... looking back I honestly believe that getting to see them play and meeting them back then had a huge impact on how much I love music, which means an awful lot as its the industry I work in and have so much passion for now (and that love is what kicked off the blog!) I've made lifelong friends through the band, been to lots more shows (Friday's was the fifteenth) and made some beautiful memories at those, not to mention writing my final year dissertation in part about the band and interviewing them and some of their fans for it. 

Friday's gig was kicked off by local artist Joseph Knight playing some sad acoustic tunes (who doesn't love sad songs?!) - check out his tune Minutes. After a quick turnaround, the stage was ready for The Hoosiers, but first they gave us an unusual warm-up, inviting two fans up to the stage to do a spot of karaoke. It's a first for me but I found myself thinking at the time that every gig should start that way, as the tunes (Here It Goes Again and Naive) lightened up the crowd and got everybody singing along.

The Hoosiers soon took to the stage, performing a set of two halves, first performing The Trick To Life in full. TTTL is such a poignant album from my youth and is really special to me so getting to hear it played live among a sold out crowd of people who clearly loved the record just as much and sang along to all the words was an incredible experience. Despite Worried About Ray and Goodbye Mr A coming early in the set (a little disorienting as they've finished with GMA at possibly every show I've seen them play) the band and audience maintained as much energy for the rest of the tracks from the album. It blew my mind just how well the rest of the crowd knew the lyrics to each song from the album, including the quiter, slower numbers like Clinging On For Life which I recorded and you can watch below and my personal favourite Everything Goes Dark. The first half of the set was topped off with Irwin inviting a fan onstage to sing the album's last track Money To Be Made with him - I almost wish I'd been brave at the time as I know the track inside out and reckon it'd be pretty unforgettable, but the chap who put himself forward did a great job and wasn't actually a bad singer!

After a quick departure from the stage the band returned to play the second half of the set, kicking off with a tune from their latest record, Pristine, followed up by first album B-side Rules, which I can't say I ever expected to hear live! Somewhere In The Distance and Up To No Good, which feature mini Teardrops and I Can't Feel My Face covers followed and went down really well with the crowd, carrying on the big singalongs, before they finished up with second album single Choices. Despite being the first show of the tour the show was just as awesome as the first time I saw them live, and I especially need to give a shoutout to Paul Frith and Leighton Allen who have joined the band recently for live shows on keys and bass respectively - both doing a cracking job!! The night was topped off by bumping into Irwin and Paul outside the venue afterwards, it's always lovely to catch up, especially as it was my Mum's first time seeing the band since Summer 2015 - cue a reunion selfie!

If you made it this far in the post and want to relive a slice of 2007 for yourself, check out the rest of the tour dates, including a show at London's famous Scala next Friday (13th Oct) on the band's website here, but be quick as many of the shows are selling out!

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