You’ve got to love the suburbs. Well, not actually love the Hemel Hempsteads, Croydons or Brentwoods themselves, because let’s face it, they’re excruciatingly dull towns of identikit shopping centres and awful ’60s housing. No, the places are terrible, but the people who live there are amazing.
Faced with their uninspiring surroundings, suburbanites are often the most inventive folk around. Forget the middle-aged couples organising weird sex parties or vandals working out new ways to ruin bus stops, the real creativity is in the music.
From The Jam to Gallows, living on the cusp has a habit of generating some angry, edgy and most importantly, cracking bands. Staines, Hard-Fi’s own London-orbital, is as unremarkable as the next ’burb, which is what fuels ‘Suburban Knights’ and the startling return of the Fi.
Forget cheap CCTV shows with condescending voice-overs about chavs fighting, this one goes out to suburbanites making something of themselves. “This one-way system isn’t paradise/But not everyone here wants to fight”, croons Richard Archer, and proves his point by unveiling a more dexterous and inventive Hard-Fi. Blending voodoo chants, Clash-inspired Telecasters and the sort of beats that will have them congoing around the job centre, Archer and his men have created an anthem for the satellite scumtowns.