The Hoosiers at the Clapham Grand
The Clapham Grand really lived up to its name on Friday night as The Hoosiers put on an energetic and thoroughly enjoyable show, marking their return to live performance.
This was an evening filled with anticipation, and the audience sat in the self-described “Palace of Varieties” were eagerly awaiting the opportunity to experience live music for what was likely to have been the first time in over a year. This energy was replicated by supporting act Two Weeks in Nashville, who paraded onto the stage in an assortment of tight trousers and interesting jackets, playing with a hunger emblematic of a young rock band starved of performance. There were plenty of antics and, whilst their music wasn’t necessarily groundbreaking, they were excellent performers.
Shortly after, the Hoosiers marched on stage with little pretence and an energy that matched their openers. The headliners went straight into the title track from their debut album, 2007s The Trick to Life. Frontman Irwin Sparkes commanded the stage with the know-how of a performer with over a decade of experience, and the chemistry with his bandmates was palpable. It was clear that this was a welcome return to the stage for the group – not only because they explicitly said so between songs, but because it was recognisable in the joyous way that they performed.
There was a good mix of popular favourites, such as Cops and Robbers and Worried About Ray, with some new material and a few covers (although the old tunes were more memorable than the more recent ones). There was also an abundance of quips, chat and stage banter.
Despite the fact that a few of the songs were marred by muddy sound quality, the highlights of the evening were the moments of audience participation, particularly when the group closed on their biggest hit Goodbye Mr A. The indie-pop classic was welcomed in a volley of cheers and the roof was almost lifted as the chorus was belted back from the seats.
Overall, the evening felt incredibly exuberant, and it is clear that both audiences and bands are itching to get back to gigs – the sooner, the better.
For further information and future events visit The Hoosiers’s website here.
Watch the video for the single Somewhere in the Distance here: