10 years on from their debut album ‘The Trick to Life’ reaching number one in the album charts, The Hoosiers are back to do it all over again.
Were you worried about Ray? Pretty much everyone was 10 years ago when The Hoosiers first burst on to the indie-pop scene in 2007. They got us bouncing on the dance floors to music that was melodic and cool and we were hooked! The Hoosiers’ debut album went straight to number one when it was released in October 2007 and songs like ‘Worried About Ray’ and ‘Goodbye Mr A’ dominated the radio waves.
Marking the 10th anniversary of the album this autumn, the surviving (and we should say original) band members, Irwin Sparkes and Alan Sharland, are doing it all over again, selling a new limited edition vinyl pressing and expanded 2CD edition of their debut and undertaking a huge UK tour, heading to Stoke’s Sugarmill next weekend.
We caught up with lead singer, Irwin, to find out more about their return to the limelight:
Q: It must seem like the last ten years has been a dream! Do you still pinch yourselves that you have come this far?
I: One man’s “too far” is another woman’s “not far enough”, as the old saying doesn’t go. Al and I had been playing our trade in bands for thirteen years before we got big anyway and we still have loads to learn; the thing that astounds me were the confluence of factors that facilitated our rise, including everyone at our label (RCA) doing a mighty fine job and there being any appetite for what we were doing at the time. That’s something you can’t force, no matter how much money a label might throw at marketing. We feel very lucky and know plenty of people in better bands who weren’t so lucky. The fact we’re still making music and gigging ten years after our debut record blows our tiny minds though.
Q: What have been your standout highlights from the last ten years? I: Playing Glastonbury (with a load of backing dancers), bursting out of an illusionist’s smoke box (not prison slang) for V-fest and getting to gig around Europe and Japan. As well as obviously getting to gaze about my band-mate Al’s beautiful gingery face every working day
Q: What are the biggest differences for you as a band between then and now?
I: There’s only two of us! Musically we’ve grown in terms of our taste and broadened in terms of what we’re trying to achieve. I think a lot of that has come down to where we’re at as people. Back in the day we/I had a desperation about us/me. I sought approval to fulfil whatever was lacking. It’s easy to mistake approval for success. If we make a record and love it, then it’s a success. I also like the idea of success meaning you have freedom to choose what you do. I’m not sure there’s much freedom if you’re at the apex of commercial success, but you’d have to ask Beyonce, Bieber and Scouting for Girls about that.
Q: Your debut album ‘The Trick to Life’ went straight to No. 1 in the UK album charts back in 2007, could it do it again?
I: Haaa! Well now you’ve got me daydreaming. Hadn’t crossed my mind till you said that. Long as we can make a living from playing songs we love then we’re winning. Anything else is a bonus. That said … now that you’ve planted the seed I’m gonna (sic) quit music if it doesn’t go back to number one. The thing I remember thinking when we did get to the top spot for a moment, was how exactly the same we all were, it was just other people that treated you differently.
Q: But the album is full of iconic music we can’t wait to hear again so we think you’ll be sticking around for some time yet! Which songs are you most looking forward to performing from the album? I: The Feeling You Get When… Q: You’re coming to the Stoke Sugarmill, by far one of Staffordshire’s most famous and best band venues, have you played here before?
I: It was one of my favourite shows of our early touring days! And I’m not just saying that. I remember we played a special under-18’s night and the energy was sky-high. We were met by some lovely folks outside who asked for some special souvenirs of our encounter. Al gave one a piggy-back and I signed a shoe. I vowed never to take myself down to shoe-level to conduct a signing again. You’ve got to keep it classy when you can. Course now it’s all selfies …
The Hoosiers play Stoke’s Sugarmill on 6th October and tickets are priced at £15 each. For more information, to buy tickets and for vinyl pre-orders visit 10years.thehoosiers.com.