Hard-Fi make ‘hometown’ return with intimate show

Richard Archer and co preview new album at pub gig

Hard-Fi returned to live action in hometown London with a ‘secret’ gig at pub venue Dublin Castle.

The band played the Camden boozer in front of an audience of just under 200, as they mixed tracks from forthcoming album ‘Once Upon A Time In The West’ with their 2005 debut ‘Stars Of CCTV’.

With bassist Kai Stephens – rocking a similar chopped up Union Jack shirt to the one Tom Meighan from Kasabian wore at Live Earth – greeting the sweaty crowd with a chirpy “hello you lot”, the band kicked off with new single ‘Suburban Knights’.

They then showcased further new songs ‘Television’ and ‘I Shall Overcome’ as frontman Richard Archer recalled the last time his band played the venue – stickers from which could still be seen plastered across the venue.

“We played here two-and-a-half years ago and it was fucking chaos then,” he declared. “We’ve just more stuff to go wrong now!”

Also previewing new songs ‘Can’t Get Along’ and ‘We Need Love’, the band then shook the tiny pub backroom with a selection of their biggest hits.

“I want to say thanks for you lot coming down and being our guinea pigs,” explained the singer. “Right what we’re after now is a party atmosphere so what we don’t need is people acting cool at the back and at the bar, are you fucking up for it?”

To a series of loud singalongs Hard-Fi then tore into ‘Cash Machine’ before suffering a false start ahead of ‘Hard To Beat’ when a fan jokingly unplugged guitarist Ross Phillips guitar.

“Who unplugged Ross‘ cable?” laughed Archer, quickly finding the culprit in the front row.

“What’s your name?” he asked the guilty party before telling the audience, “Scottie did it everyone, he’s very sorry though.”

The band the wrapped up the set by staging an encore without leaving the stage.

“At this set we’d do what is known in showbusiness as an encore, where we’d pretend to go home but really we’d just wait backstage,” explained Archer. “At this venue that’s just fucking ridiculous, so let’s just pretend we’ve gone off.”

Following a series of wild cheers, the group then ended the show with‘Stars Of CCTV’ and ‘Living For The Weekend’.

Hard-Fi played:

‘Suburban Knights’

‘Gotta Reason’


‘I Shall Overcome’

‘Tied Up Too Tight’

‘Can’t Get Along’

‘We Need Love’

‘Cash Machine’

‘Hard To Beat’

‘Stars Of CCTV’

‘Living For The Weekend’

The gig was last of the Secret Season shows organised by influential club night [url=http://www.myspace.com/yearzeroclub]Year Zero

For more on Hard-Fi‘s live return see next issue of NME on UK newsstands from August 1.