HARD-FI celebrated their MERCURY PRIZE nomination last week (July 19) by beginning their first proper assault on America.
The band had just arrived in New York when news of the ‘Stars Of CCTV’ nomination came through.
“We thought, ‘What, they give you an award for just playing the Mercury Lounge?’’” admitted frontman Richard Archer. “Then the penny dropped. ‘Oh that Mercury Prize’.”
Their US tour capped an already-rollercoaster fortnight for Hard-Fi.
After seeing ‘Stars Of CCTV’ crash into the album charts at Number Six, they played their first gig after being forced to cancel Glastonbury due to the death of Archer’s mother.
Their biggest London gig yet, the band played at the Neighbourhood Club (July 13), with the likes of Damon Albarn and Libertines producer Mick Jones in the packed audience, before playing in Germany the next day, then briefly returning to the UK to shoot a video for single ‘Living For The Weekend’.
“It’s all a bit of a blur,” admitted Archer. “We’ll probably look back on it say ‘Man, remember when we did that?!”
He added: “Neighbourhood was one of our favourite shows to date, it was a great atmosphere. We did that show, we made this video on Saturday when we were on top of a building in Brentford. Then we’re in New York getting word of a Mercury nomination. It’s totally mad, it hasn’t really sunk in yet.”
Archer added he felt the nomination vindicated their efforts. “It’s kind of mad when you look at the other artists who are nominated and you see Coldplay, and when you think that their album was recorded in the poshest studios around and ours was done in a lock-up in Staines,” he explained.
“Half of it was done for £300 and the other half was done for probably about a grand and they bought us a few extra microphones. It was all DIY and here we are with a Mercury nomination, it’s kind of crazy. I didn’t realise we were up for it, I thought we’d missed the cut-off point.”