Friday, 30 May 2014

The Hoosiers – Supported by Capital Sun and Ariana and the Rose

The Hoosiers – Supported by Capital Sun and Ariana and the Rose
HMV Institute Birmingham- 23rd May

Locals boys Capital Sun released their debut album, ‘Mr Nobody’, on the 30th May (see other review) and were a one-off support for Indie legends The Hoosiers. They strolled on stage looking twee as could be and tried to woo the audience with their candy vocals and catchy guitar riffs. They reminded me of a softer Futureheads, with the thick choppy acoustic guitar and bass-y sound. Single ‘It’s a Crime’ is bouncy, and catchy as hell- certainly suitable for radio air time! “A Ballad Of Rocky Lane” was similar with cracking acoustic guitar.  For such a new band they gave a pretty confident performance and had a twinkling of stage presence. I’d pay to see them again. I caught up with the boys as Ariana and the Rose set up. They agreed they felt it went well apart from a few technical issues and the heat of the lights.

Ariana and the Rose were not what I’d expect at a Hoosiers gig: electro pop with splashes of indie guitar. The band looked smart in shirts and jackets while Ariana came floating on with a 60’s style white floral dress. They were lively, sexy and sassy; they even got the room dancing a little bit. They created a big sound that surrounded you as her sugar sweet vocals filled you. Their cover of ‘Sweet Dreams’ certainly went down well as the room bopped and sang along; good cover too, fabulous vocals, but not very original. ‘Hollow’ was slow and doomy but with a shimmer of hope while end song ‘This Is Our Youth’ was the big summery euphoric song, similar to Foster the People. EP ‘Head Vs Heart’ is out now on ITunes.

Then it was The Hoosiers, boy oh boy did they wake the room up in their smart attire. It was electric, with drums in your throat, bass in the chest, guitar and keyboard tingling your spine and vocals melting you. The room bounced and sang and cheered and screamed with flailing arms in the air. They had real stage presence and an infectious energy and happiness. A variety of songs was played including a few from the latest album ‘The News From Nowhere’; such as poppy jerky ‘Fidget Brain’ and a more synth heavy opener song ‘Somewhere In The Distance’. Naturally the room responded more enthusiastically to the instant classics, ‘Cops and Robber’ and ‘Worried About Ray’. Their sound consumed you so that nothing else matter or felt real, time meant nothing nor did it matter. One thing that’s for sure is that that frontman Irwin Sparkes sure knows how to please crowd: join it. At that moment everyone, despite age and sex, became a screaming fangirl. He walked round singing his heart out, sometimes to no-one, to some-one, oh look he’s on the ground again, it was great fun. The four song encore started with a beautiful acoustic rendition of ‘Choices’ as the other band members proceeded to wander cheerfully through the crowd with tambourines. The night ended with ‘Goodbye Mr A’, what a way to ensure they don’t leave your head for days.

It was a thrilling night, each band had great energy, great sound and great potential. Can we go back and do it all again? 

Capital Sun:
Ariana and the Rose: