Live Review: The Hoosiers @ Leeds University Union (29/10/15)

Walking into the Union, it’s incredibly easy to get lost. In fact, it took us about 20 minutes to actually find the room where the gig was taking place, but as soon as you walked in it was clear that the atmosphere was buzzing and rearing to go. As the band stepped on stage, the audience, although not that big, went wild. Prepping their instruments the lads were ready to go, apart from the drummer who, thanks to lead singer Irwin Sparkes, held quite a comedic 30 second delay.

Opening with the first track ‘Pristine’ from their new album ‘The Secret Service’ you couldn’t even tell that this was towards the end of their tour, their stamina was through the roof, and so was the fans.  Moving onto a classic track from their first album ‘Worried About Ray’ all the old fans were in their element, and clearly the band were loving being able to play these old tracks to an audience who were still interested, still knew them and had followed the lads from the start. Flying through tracks ‘ Somewhere In The Distance’, ‘ Run Rabbit Run’,  ‘ The Secret Of Happiness’ and possibly, in my opinion, their best track ‘ Cops And Robbers’  it came to the end of the first part of three with their closing song, the bouncy, upbeat and incredibly catchy ‘The Wheels Fell Off The Bus’. 

Leaving the stage, the crowed immediately started shouting and chanting for them to come back but when the lights dimmed, the man who returned to the stage was not a member of the band, just someone with a torch shining into the middle of the audience. As the attention was drawn towards the back of the room, Irwin and drummer Alan walked in and began playing a very chilled, laid back, acoustic version of ‘Bumpy Rise’ right in the middle of the audience, which of course immediately caused everyone to swarm around them. Following this (and a return to the stage) were two more acoustic songs ‘Everything Goes Dark’ and Dancers In The Dark’.

Once again the lights went dark as the other two members of the band returned to the stage ready to belt out the title track from their first album ‘The Trick To Life’ followed by the sort-of-swing sounding ‘The Most Peculiar Day Of You Life’. Following this was the first single released from their second album, which included one of the most entertaining music videos to accompany it, ‘Choices’, finally followed by the last song of this second act ‘Unlikely Hero’ which saw a nice singer to audience connection with a mimic of the chorus ‘I like everybody but not everybody likes me’. Returning to the stage for the third and final time the band played two upbeat tracks ‘Up To No Good’ and their first ever single release ‘Goodbye Mr A’.

Usually after the bands finished their gig the audience goes quite quiet and leaves the room to go back home, but not today. Today the band were coming straight out to their merchandise table to sign anything people gave them, have conversations and after take photos with anyone who wanted to. Not many bands do this anymore, so it was really lovely to see a band who cares about their fans enough to push off the tiredness for a little while longer and spend some proper time with them. Plus, it was obvious in each members face that every time someone told them that they enjoyed their music, that they’d grown up listening to them, that they’d purchased music or merch or even just that they’d enjoyed the night that they appreciated it more than anything and that is the best aspect a band can have.

This was my third time seeing The Hoosiers and even without major label backing they still manage to produce amazing music and put on brilliant shows. They’re definitely a band to admire. Keep working hard lads and hopefully another tour will be coming round soon!

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