The Hoosiers @ The Bodega

It was like 2007 all over again last Friday night as The Hoosiers returned to Nottingham to mark the 10th anniversary of their smash-hit debut record ‘The Trick To Life’ in the most intimate of venues, in a gig tinged with nostalgia from the off.

Everyone has heard of The Hoosiers – be it Goodbye Mr A, Worried About Ray, Cops and Robbers or something a bit deeper into the album, tracks from ‘The Trick To Life’ were evident on FIFA, in the charts and even became a part of the ‘Now That’s What I Call Music’ phenomenon as support for the album grew.

This night was about remembering those days for a band who, if we’re being honest, have struggled to reach those heights on following albums, but also clearly have a lot of enthusiasm for their debut record and played many of the songs with the energy of one of their gigs from 10 years ago.

Opening with ‘Worried About Ray’ and following up with the catchy ‘Worst Case Scenario’ and  the slow, soulful ‘Run Rabbit Run’, the band started as if they’d never been away, and ‘Goodbye Mr A’ was, as expected, the highlight of the night played fourth in the set: ‘we’ve not played that without it closing the set for a long time,’ proclaimed frontman Irwin Sparkes, and it was clear that even those that had come to the gig with a partner, or friend, without being a massive fan of the band, knew the song.

Other definite highlights were the vocally impressive ‘A Sadness Runs Through Him’, the catchy ‘Cops and Robbers’ and the unique ‘Killer’ – and although the band at times seemed rusty on stage and perhaps not used to playing such a small, intimate venue as is the Bodega, they carried it off, in the main, very well.

Following the conclusion of their playing of ‘The Trick To Life’ in its entirety, the band treated the crowd to a few of their newer tracks by way of closing the set, finishing with the well-known ‘Choices’, although it must be observed that by then the gig had, for much of the audience, already reached its conclusion. What might have been is certainly a question which applies to The Hoosiers given the clear love for their first record held by so many, but in terms of of kicking of their tour in tribute to it, the gig was a resounding success in so many ways and the tour will no doubt continue in the same vein. For any Nottingham locals that missed the Bodega gig, they are playing in Derby this coming Saturday 14th October – don’t miss out!