I decided to take full advantage of a booze and BBQ filled Bank Holiday weekend to go and watch a band I’d heard a lot of good things about. ‘The Hicks’ are a 3 piece from Wigan who’ve been getting excellent reviews everywhere I looked, plus I’d already heard their lead singer Alex in his other band ‘Boss Keloid’, so knew he could belt out a song or two.
The Hicks were playing a set at The Toby in Skelmersdale, which is a pub I’d not set foot in since I was about 16!
I decided to go to this one ‘Off Duty’.. armed only with some beers instead of a camera. It’d mean I’d actually get to just sit back and watch a band, which I’ve not done for a while, instead of worrying about the light, the framing, what shutter speeds I’d need etc!
The warm up act were, I’m afraid, pretty awful.
‘Slick Cupid’ are young four piece from Southport who played a 45 min set of ‘Pop-Punk’ and a couple of covers to try and get the crowd involved a little. Think ‘Busted’ without the catchy tunes and you’re on the right lines.
Still, everyone’s got to start somewhere and the lads could play their instruments.. which is always a bonus.
After a quick equipment swap-over, The Hicks hit the tiny stage to show the kids how it’s done.
It’d be fair to say that the crowd was pretty indifferent at first. Wigan acts don’t tend to go down as well as say, Scouse acts, with the Skem massive.. plus, I don’t think they quite knew what to expect, especially as the opening act had been a bit of a let down.
Tearing straight into their first tune, the guys were a tight unit, with frontman Alex Hurst completely owning the cramped corner of the pub that was allocated as the stage. By midway through the second song ‘Trippin Hippy’, the crowd were on side, rocking along to songs they’d never heard, but could suddenly join in on the chorus.
A little crowd of brave dancers were up and grooving, with one slightly worse for wear woman joining them on stage and ‘treating’ the crowd (and the lads) to some dirty dancing. Unfortunately, it was more Bet Lynch than Christina Aguilerra. It’d also be rude to suggest that their next tune, the anti-police anthem ‘You Fucking Pig’, was in any way perfectly timed.
As The Hicks left the stage at the end of the evening, they were cheered by the whole place.
Asked mid-set by the promo guy to return to play The Toby again, he later asked them to headline his local charity event by the end.
From unknown to headliners in around an hour..I think that pretty much says it all..
You can check out The Hicks and hear a few of their songs at their MySpace page HERE