Hockey, The Flower Pot, Camden – June 2nd 2009
Nearly a month after playing the Camden Crawl, Hockey popped up on the hottest night of the year in Camden once again last week, this time to play a secret gig at The Flower Pot. Due to hit the (admittedly tiny) stage at 10pm, they instead shunned rock’n’roll etiquette by turning up sober and 25 minutes early, then cranking out their tight seven-song set to perfection. They’ve been compared to The Strokes, The Killers and LCD Soundsystem, but we reckon they have a style all of their own which mixes New York indie with a slap of glitter on the cheek…
Hockey are a four-piece from Portland, Oregon with precise hair and carefully selected hairbands. Their songs are so sharp they’ll have someone’s eye out soon and their lyrics are smart, conversational and just the right side of arty – a lighter, fresher Razorlight but with a singer who actually appears to be enjoying himself. They look like they’ve just sauntered in from the street, but even without an album on the virtual shelves this quartet are polished indie pop perfection with a sparkling destiny surely just around the corner.
They kicked off the set with Work, a tune that has a sweet chorus which gently nails inself to your frontal lobe. Singer Ben Grubin favoured working some drumsticks when he wasn’t singing, but when he was, his vocals were angled beautifully into the heart of the tracks. New single Learn To Lose was also a high point, its insistent guitars and crashing beat enveloping the sweaty pub. Too Fake is like an old friend now and the closing number 3am Spanish shook the set up with its stuttering brilliance. The buzz around this lot is only growing as times goes on – if you’re going to a festival this summer, make sure you circle Hockey in bold.