So, Hockey’s debut album has been out for around five months now, and I’ve made a short journey down to London where they play a sell out show, to see what they have to offer live. The audience isn’t quite what I expected with a distinct range in age varying from the ‘youngsters’ at the front to the older generation so far back you can help but question their attendance.
The support comes from Chiddy Bang who bursts onto the stage without a care in the world and for once completes the job’s intention in warming up the crowd; a role which so many bands don’t accomplish these days. He’s promptly followed by American band White Rabbits, who easily matched the energy on stage and maintained the crowd’s attention willingly throughout. The atmosphere seemed somewhat distant when standing in the ‘circle’, which was where I stationed myself for the majority of the gig, however when venturing down to the ‘standing’ area the gig did feel more alive.
Hockey then stroll out on stage, as cool as you like, opening with ‘Work’ to get the crowd in the mood. They continue with a swish transition into ‘Learn To Lose’, followed by personal favourite ‘Wanna Be Black’. The crowd took a short while to warm to the band, possibly due to the lack of energy that was present within the majority of the band. Even the camp prancing of frontman Ben Grubin couldn’t get the entirety of the crowd bopping.
‘Four Holy Photos’ proved a nice contrast in the set, and vocalist Ben Grubin was the last person you would imagine to whip out a harmonica. The set featured three new songs, which didn’t particularly offer anything new, but ‘DJ’ caught the crowd’s attention with sudden bursts of the chorus and persistent howling vocals. The crowd finally got their groove on when ‘Curse This City’ pounded the speakers, shortly followed ‘Song Away’, the popular hit seeing a variation of questionable dance moves from all ages of the audience, including myself.
Overall the gig was sweet, they played a fine tuned set despite the keys being temperamental and the slightly lacklustre band, leaving me thinking this band certainly have more to offer live.
Learn To Lose
Wanna Be Black
Rebels Marry Young [new]
Four Holy Photos
Curse This City
Put The Game Down