Gig Review: The Hoosiers, Old Fire Station, Bournemouth

The Hoosiers

Ten years ago, The Hoosiers debut album, ‘The Trick To Life’, delivered an extraordinary collection of addictive, hook-driven earmworm tracks that never seem to get old, no matter how many times you listen.

A decade later and a member down, the chart-topping trio returned to Bournemouth’s Old Fire Station, this time as the headline act, in commemoration of their 2007 breakthrough album.

In 2011, The Hoosiers, alongside the likes of The 1975 and Oasis, were given the unenviable title of Worst Band by NME. Would they still deliver? Would lead singer Irwin Sparkles still have the amazing vocals he once possessed?

Finally, the old-timers took the stage, looking dapper yet wacky in their brightly coloured outfits, and launched straight into their throwback hit ‘Worried About Ray’.

As anticipated, the sell-out show was a real-mash in its audience, with young teenagers standing next to adults and parents. But amongst the generational differences, everyone had one thing in common: ‘The Trick To Life’ is an influential and memorable record.

The Hoosiers best hits were to follow, with ‘Worst Case Scenario’, ‘Run Rabbit Run’ and ‘Goodbye Mr A’.

The second half of the gig included a groovy cover of ‘I Can’t Feel My Face’ by The Weeknd and Billy Joel’s ‘We Didn’t Start the Fire’.

What made the set so vibrant aside the music was the trio’s personalities. It was enlightening to see the band enjoying themselves on stage as if a day hadn’t passed since their first Bournemouth performance.

Frontman Irwin Sparkes laughed and joked, appreciating every minute on stage as he thanked the audience throughout.

It was always going to be tough to perform in front of a crowd ten years on and put the same amount of energy and emotion into songs that fans fell in love with back in 2007.

Yet the Hoosiers seemed to tick all the boxes. Sparkes still had an amazing set of vocals, while keyboardist Sam Swallow and drummer Alphonso Sharland bought energy and comedy to make this nostalgic night one to remember.