REVIEW: Hoosiers impress despite small crowd in Doncaster

The Hoosiers impressed in Doncaster.
The Hoosiers impressed in Doncaster.
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The Hoosiers have endured a rocky road since debut album The Trick to Life topped the charts eight years ago.

A split with their record company means the band have not had things easy, setting up their own label to release their latest records.

Three became four with the addition of keyboard player Sam Swallow, before becoming three again with the amicable departure of bassist Martin Skarendahl earlier this year.

And it was this three – Sam, drummer Alan Sharland and frontman Irwin Sparkes – which took to the stage for a great gig at Doncaster’s intimate Diamond Lounge.

The band are clearly comfortable where they are.

Despite the small crowd, the trio were full of smiles, banter and energy and are all clearly at the top of their game musically.

They opened with Pristine, the opening track from their fourth and latest studio album, The Secret Service, followed by the band’s breakthrough single Worried About Ray, which reached number five in 2007.

The trio tore through a mixture of old songs, such as Cops and Robbers, and new, such as the excellent The Wheels Fell Off, even at one point leaving the stage to stroll through the audience like some wandering minstrels.

However, it is a sad sign of how far the band have fallen since 2007 when the setlist includes instructions for Sharland to plug the merchandise stall, but it was done with humour as the band promised to hang around and meet fans afterward.

The encore featured the band’s latest single, Up To No Good, before they closed with their biggest hit, Goodbye Mr A, ensuring the small but enthusiastic crowd left with smiles nearly as big as the those worn by the men on stage.

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