The Hoosiers at the Borderline
There are two types of bands, the ones which aren’t cut out for intimate gigs and the ones which thrive on small, close-knit stages. From their set at the Borderline, it’s evident that The Hoosiers are the latter.
The band plays a mixture of tracks from their new album, The News from Nowhere, along with their better-known hits. The entire setlist is delivered with aplomb and even the lesser-known songs receive an intense emotional response from the audience. Fan favourites, Worried About Ray, Cops and Robbers and their closing number Goodbye Mr A are, naturally, met with the most intense response, but their newer songs, including the beautifully melancholy Somewhere in the Distance are still seamlessly echoed by an audience clearly riveted by the performance.
The best thing about intimate gigs is watching the band’s interaction with the public. Lead singer Sparkes is clearly a natural performer, connecting effortlessly from the beginning, and he wastes no time ingratiating himself into the banter which is almost necessary in this type of concert: “We’ve never played here before, so to the person outside who said they enjoyed us last time, you’re lying,” he jokes. His charisma is palpable, he seems exactly like the kind of person you’d be happy to drink with.
The Hoosiers are nothing if not performers, they seem to soak up the atmosphere of the room. Halfway through the show the lights dim and the four-piece leave the stage – only to reappear hitting tambourines and singing as they make their way through an ecstatic audience. This is a band that’s not afraid to have fun, a band that enjoys putting on a show.
Their encore finishes up with a revitalising juxtaposition of fast numbers and slow melodies – and the pacing works fantastically well. They finish, obviously, on Goodbye Mr A and it’s clear from the shouts of “play Goodbye!” that this is what everybody has been waiting for. The Hoosiers deliver their signature piece with the kind of passion that is so rare in those well-known songs that often bands get tired of playing.
For further information about The Hoosiers and future events visit here.