INDIE rockers Hooton Tennis Club are returning to Wirral for a “one-off” gig.

Formed in 2013 after meeting at Upton by Chester High School, four-piece Hooton Tennis Club, consisting of Ryan Murphy (vocals/guitar), James Madden (vocals/guitar), Callum McFadden (bass) and Harry Chalmers (drums), signed with Heavenly Records before releasing their acclaimed debut album, Highest Point in Cliff Town, in 2015.  

The band, who take their name from the tennis courts in Little Sutton, released a second album, Big Box of Chocolates, in 2016, but apart from the 2020 single, Monsoonal Runoff, they have been on an “indefinite hiatus” ever since. 

The band is now set to play Future Yard in Birkenhead as part of Independent Venues Week on Wednesday, January 31.

Wirral Globe: Hooton Tennis ClubHooton Tennis Club (Image: Hooton Tennis Club)

The Globe caught up with bassist, Callum ahead of their return.

He told the Globe: “We haven’t done any gigs since around 2017 but we started recording some new tracks in 2020 and had a little tour booked for the summer but then Covid-19 happened and everything stopped so they never ended up happening.

“We felt like we wanted to give it a go again. It’s been an idea for a while.”

Independent Venue Week runs from January 29 to February 4 and is the UK’s annual seven-day celebration of independent music and arts venues and the people who own, run, and work in them. 

Callum said: “We really wanted to play Future Yard because it’s such a good venue and we love it. The guys who run it were also really keen to put us on. They mentioned it was for Independent Venue Week as well which sheds light on really good venues so we said 'let’s play'.

“We started out our gigs in and around Liverpool like the Kazimir, which was an amazing venue that would take chances on bands like us, but now the best venue in Merseyside probably isn’t in Liverpool, it’s Future Yard in Birkenhead.”

The night will see Hooton Tennis Club take to the stage supported by bands Campfire Social and Hank Bee.

Callum said: “It’s great being back together. You worry if you remember all the songs still because at the time we were playing so much that it was just second nature but you forget little bits and quirks that you used to put in the tunes.

“But we’ve had a few practices now and we will hopefully sound as good as we used to. There are a couple of tracks we’re planning to play that people might not know potentially from the archives.

Despite the comeback gig, the band's definite return is still unconfirmed.

Callum said: “For now this is a one-off show and we’ve got nothing else planned after this. I think we’re just focusing on this show and enjoying it.

“When we first started the band it was more about four mates hanging out together. You know how it is when you’re in your early 20s and you’re discovering new music and reading more and watching films and you sort of end up pollinating each other with these bits of culture.

“When we got signed we had to start thinking more about the business side of things and I think playing this one-off show for now is a way of there being no pressure on it being anything else.

“I think we’re all open to potentially doing it again but it’s more about hanging out together again because obviously we’re older now and priorities change.”

Future Yard and Independent Venue Week presents Hooton Tennis Club, Campfire Social and Hank Bee on Wednesday, January 31, 2024. Doors open at 7.15pm and tickets are £12 and can be bought here.