Reviewing The Hoosiers was always going be a little bit odd. Their music doesn’t typically fall under the umbrella of what I would listen to and it would seem their most successful days are comfortably behind them. That said, the air of unfashionableness that surrounded them in their not-so-long ago heyday has evaporated somewhat – leaving an audience eager for the hits but generally curious as to what else they might have to offer.Advertisement
First though, Saytr Play open the night’s proceedings. They bring a very modern take on acoustic music along with one of the largest support followings Club 53 has seen for an opener. Their own songs are filled with witty observations and their covers – a retake of The Kooks Naïve and LMFAO’s Sexy and I Know It – are genuinely creative without overshadowing their own work. The front man has an air of confidence about him then never slips into arrogance and the UCLan students seem grateful for the opportunity given to them. A great example of what can happen when a local band works with 53 Degrees to make a support slot work.
Main support is from Ariana & The Rose. They immediately look the complete package – full of laidback confidence and coming across like the stars they aren’t quite yet. However, there’s unfortunately one thing missing and that’s the songs. Covers from Eurythmics and Alanis Morrissette serve to overshadow their own patchy material rather than compliment it in the same way the opening act managed to achieve. That said, with the right pop song to propel them, they already have the rest of the ingredients in place to achieve and we’ve certainly seen worse acts propelled to stardom.
So down to The Hoosiers. Seen watching the support acts in the crowd before their set, there’s a sense that they really want to engage with fans, and that’s the case throughout the set. They’ve been around a few years now and it shows with how Irwin Sparkes interacts and their general casual demeanour. When they ask who has bought their new album, there’s a sense of self-awareness in the question – and almost an ability to laugh at themselves.
What really takes us aback though, is the strength of their material outside those hits. It really is pop at its finest and it’s a shame they’ve been overlooked by so many people in the years following their successful debut album. Main set closer Made To Measure is particular treat, bouncing all the way to a frantic ska-esque conclusion that makes it the standout song of their set. Yes, better than Worried About Ray and Goodbye Mr. A.
When those songs do come around, Worried About Ray fourth in the set and Goodbye Mr. A as the evenings closer, they aren’t afraid to milk them for all they are worth – and that’s definitely a good thing. What The Hoosiers really achieve here though, is the proof that the rest of their material, including the tracks from new album The News From Nowhere, more than stands up in its own right. Pop music fans should definitely give The Hoosiers another chance.
Did you go to the gig? What did you think? Let us know in the comments below