Hoodlums, The Wilmington Arms, 9 February 2012

Hoodlums are getting big. The snow may be pelting down tonight, but a dedicated crowd has traipsed to this somewhat off the beaten track venue regardless. Outside temperatures are dropping below freezing, but inside things are heating up. The place is rammed.

Kicking off with The Great Outsiders, Hoodlums begin to prove their propensity for grasping the attentions of even the most cramped, restless and rowdy audience. Lead singer Lou Vainglorious is in his element on stage and wastes no time before leaning far beyond the monitors to force his heavily-drinking fans to get involved.

Hoodlums’ songs are of the type that simply doesn’t allow the sad and serious faces so often seen in London’s music venues, as the joyous melody of romcom-worthy Not A Love Song lights up the room, inciting excited bouts of dancing.

The tone is brought down slightly with the lesser-known new single Dark Horses (for which tonight’s show is the launch), but its pounding drums have plenty of feet tapping, from those squashed against the stage, to those doing shots of black sambuca at the bar.

It’s safe to say this band has got a whole lot of hits up its sleeve.

Demand sees Hoodlums prevented from even leaving the stage before performing an encore including stand-out track Forget A Friend. With its warm, upbeat and catchy choruses, anyone would think we were in the middle of summer.

By Sophie Armour

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