Hockey Band Play Glasgow

The current wave of indie bands and emerging talent within the Glasgow music scene, is reaching such dizzying levels that even smaller venues such as the legendary Captain’s Rest and the Grand Old Oprey, now frequently play host to well established acts playing intimate gigs to an ‘always up for it’ crowd.

Having already played numerous venues in Glasgow, Hockey revisited to perform at Oran Mor on Saturday night in the West End of the city. It’s now almost a year since I first heard them performing on Later with Jools Holland. The choppy opening riff and melodic cool vocal drawl of ‘too fake’ instantly grabbed my attention, and packs a punch as the debut track for their album ‘Mind Chaos’ released last year.

Blending funky North American sounding beats with soulful lyrics and at times raucous guitar riffs, Hockey fill a presence between the likes of more electronic acts such as LCD Soundsystem and singer songwriter stuff like Babyshambles and the Strokes.

Hockey opened with the tight groove of ‘Work’ which apart from a handful of fans at the front, left the audience hoping for a little more from this lot, with the band clearly looking tired and sounding more as if they were simply running through the motions than their usual more energetic appearances.

Songs like ‘Learn to Lose’ really only give glimpses of the bands style tonight; singer Ben Grubin struggling to find his dancing shoes and usual effortless cool. Perhaps somewhat cramped for space, it is not until the second half of the set that Hockey start to play what they do well with a bit more drive and urgency.

‘Song away’ provides more familiarity, recognized everywhere at the moment from Albert Square to Radio stations across the country. It is however songs like ‘Preacher’ that hit a higher level in this set, with fuzzy guitars and funky lyrics “Oh preacher could you save my soul? Ive got it packed all ready to go” which up the ante and hit the mark.

It only left for  ‘Too Fake’ to close things up as an encore, in giving the crowd what they wanted to hear. Look out for where these guys go from here. Hopefully they can write more like this and not just become another manufactured indie pop band with just too much soul for the world! My girlfriend thinks the singer’s got nice arms though, so guess it’s all alright!

Check out more from Hockey on myspace here.

For more of what’s on at Oran Mor, click here.

For pics from this gig and more, click Tom’s flickr page here.

By Tom Manley on March 1, 2010

Check out all the pics

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