Review: THE HOOSIERS at Engine Rooms

Just really nice guys playing really good tunes.

The Hoosiers were worried about Ray way back in 2007, but apart from the odd smash hit since they seem to have gone quiet. When their new album and tour “The Secret Service” was announced, I have to admit I was a little skeptical.  With such classic tunes under their belts, this tour could either make or break their previously established reputation. When a gig at Engine Rooms was revealed, I couldn’t resist, despite the cost of drinks being nearly as much as the ticket. But the boys didn’t let me down.



Despite a whole new album rolling itself onto shelves this year, they didn’t shy away from playing the crowd pleasing classics. “Goodbye Mr A” and “Worried About Ray” being the obvious choices, as well as their more popular singles “Cops and Robbers” and “Choices”. The crowd loved it, the band had barely finished their set before they were hassled into an encore. What I found most impressive was the time they made for everyone afterwards. They had transport arranged to whisk them straight to London after the gig, yet took as much time as possible to sign photos and meet the fans. No-one was left disappointed and despite being pretty shattered and short of time, they were very down to earth and more than happy to take as many selfies as keen fans required.

They didn’t have time for a full interview but spoke to us afterwards, saying that they really love playing Southampton and that the crowd, for them, absolutely nailed it. Considering I was unsure what to expect of the night, worried that the new, less familiar tunes might take precedence, they absolutely smashed it – however, I think it worth noting that the old tunes were still clearly the most popular.HOOSIERS

They were supported by an up and coming band, The Cavaliers. The boys, Eddie (History, 2nd Year), Samir (Mathematics, fresher), Ed (full time waiter), Chris and James (Music Technology, Bath Spa) rocked the Hobbit earlier this year and are going to be playing Southampton University Independence Festival. Their music fitted the Hoosiers crowd well and they played off each other incredibly well for a young band – their tunes are available via their Facebook page and on Youtube. I caught the boys after the gig for a quick chat about life as musicians, how they fit it around their degree and what they reckon to supporting the Hoosiers…

How long have you guys been making music?

“Since we came out of the womb… (laughter) although I would say before that!”

Okay, rephrase that… How long have you been together as a band?

“About 3 years, although Samir just joined about a year ago – we wanted to give him a better life… We brought him in to try a few sessions and he smashed it. He’s sort of like an import bride, but for electric guitar. The rest of us met at school”

Who do you reckon is the biggest band you guys have ever supported?

“I mean obviously The Hoosiers are great, supporting them is fantastic. We’ve also supported Don Broco, which was one of our favorites. Once we even supported Peter Andre…

How do you find time to make music and travel to gigs around your degrees?

It’s a real struggle, we don’t gig as much as we’d like – we stick round the South and fit it all in best we can. We have gone East to West but not so much North stuff. Some of us don’t really take our degrees as seriously as we should! Catching a train and playing is relief from regular life.

What’s your advice for students looking to play in a band at university?

“Just do it. Don’t let dreams just be dreams! Find someone who plays an instrument, have a jam and basically, don’t be a dick.”