Tonight is a hot ticket, with venue staff stating that they could’ve sold the venue out four times over, and that people had been inquiring about just listening from outside the venue.
The reason for the excitement is that tonight indie rock standouts Hard-Fi will be playing their first show in eight years. Not just that but it takes place in the intimate surrounds of one of the UK’s premier independent music venues – the Craufurd Arms in Milton Keynes (or Wolverton as singer Richard Archer points out).
Yes, the return of Hard-Fi is very welcome and given the lyrical content of some of their early material, it’s somewhat apt that the band responsible for ‘Cash Machine’ return during one of the most tumultuous weeks of the ongoing cost of living crisis.
Tonight serves as a warm up for their big return shows in Manchester and London, but before Hard-Fi arrive on stage we have the warm up for tonight. Eddz channels his inner Ian Brown, performing solo to a backing track. In front of a baying crowd, Eddz styles out the performance well and certainly leaves the stage with more fans than we he arrived.
The venue is rammed tight by the time the returning heroes arrive on stage and opener ‘Middle Eastern Holiday’ instantly engages the crowd. The atmosphere is electric as the band find their feet through the likes of ‘Can’t Get Along (Without You)’ and ‘I Shall Overcome’.
There is a slightly misguided rendition of The White Stripes classic ‘Seven Nation Army’ early in the show which feels oddly placed and generally unnecessary, however the next tracks ‘Tied Up Too Tight’ and ‘Good For Nothing’ ensure that the crowd remains firmly onboard.
A run of ‘Better Do Better’, ‘Bring It On’, ‘Fire In The House’ and ‘Cash Machine’ is fantastic, and just shows the depth of the bands back catalogue. Despite only having 3 studio albums to their name, Hard-Fi certainly have the proverbial bangers for days!
Whilst there are times that it’s clear this is their first show in a very long time, the band shake off any gremlins to deliver a memorable night for their fans. ‘Suburban Knights’ and ‘Hard To Beat’ close out the main set for a three song encore which ends of ‘Living For The Weekend’.
The band are living for this weekend and their big return shows, but after this performance, fans will be hoping that Hard-Fi stick around for a while longer!
Welcome to another edition of our weekly music News Report! We start this week with our tour news section and with the one and only Don Broco.
This past week saw the band announce a huge arena tour set for March next year. Support on the shows will come from Papa Roach and Dance Gavin Dance.
Regarding the tour frontman Rob Damiani says, “Beyond pumped to announce the Amazing Things arena tour featuring a line up only the sweetest dreams are made of. There’s no two ways about it, we wouldn’t be the band we are today if it wasn’t for the legends that are Papa Roach so as you can imagine we’re super excited to have the guys out with us as well as our ridiculously talented friends Dance Gavin Dance. See you next year!”.
On to new music release now as our News Report continues. First up is ‘You Got The Best Of Me’, the new single from icons Journey.
Listen to the track above, which will feature on a new album called, ‘Freedom’ which will arrive July 8th.
“I wanted kind of a punky rendition of ‘Any Way You Want It’”, says the group’s founding member, guitarist, songwriter, and producer Neal Schonabout the single. “I usually don’t go in saying I’m going to look for something like that, but then it just came to me, like “Wheel in the Sky” did years ago. It just kind of flew out of my mouth.”
While the forthcoming album was made with visions of arena and stadium stages, it started from humble beginnings. In 2020, as COVID swept the globe, Schon was stuck at home like the rest of us. “During the pandemic, there wasn’t much to do,” he says. “I spent a lot of time in my little studio at home, learning how to play keyboards and looping. Some of those ideas ended up being songs. So it kind of came out of nowhere.”
MAN WITH A MISSION share new single ‘More Than Words’
Japanese superstars MAN WITH A MISSION have released their brand new single, ‘More Than Words’, the latest song to be taken from their forthcoming album ‘Break and Cross the Walls II’out May 25th. You can check out the song above.
Bassist and songwriter Kamikaze Boy has a special connection with the song and says, “It’s about people sharing thoughts and feelings, even though they have a hard time exchanging words.“.
Rising Los Angeles rock band Classless Act this week debuted their latest track, ‘Time To Bleed’, which you can check out above.
The song will feature on their debut album, ‘Welcome To The Show’, which is released on June 24th.
Bass player Franco Gravante, who produced, mixed, and cowrote the track, explained the origins of the song, “It’s one of the first riffs I wrote for the record a couple years back. But I couldn’t finish the song. We got some magic dust sprinkled on it by Justin Hawkins and that gave me the confidence to know THIS song belonged on the record. But the record was already done and delivered. So we called the label and said, HOLD UP! Then we called Keith (Nelson), he booked a studio and 37 hours later, it was on the record and it’s coming out now! It was so fast. I think they’re still cleaning up the mess we made. It takes what it takes, ya know?”
After working on the song with the band during quarantine, Hawkinscommented, “I had the pleasure of writing with these young men at the beginning of the Covidian era. It quickly became apparent that I had underestimated their musicality and talent. They make really sleazy good time rock and roll music with smiles on their handsome faces and I am proud to have contributed. Good luck boys!”.
Bringing our new releases section of the News Report to a close this week are TV Priest. The band shared new track, ‘Limehouse Cut’ this week and you can listen above.
The track will feature on upcoming album, ‘My Other People’, which arrives June 17th.
Vocalist Charlie Drinkwater says of the track, “The song is about a feeling dislocated and displaced in an urban space you once felt you knew and ‘understood’, however it’s also a coming to terms with an idea that you never really ‘own‘ somewhere as infinitely regenerative as a city. It’s a bit of a psycho-geographical study, a little bit of pathos at my own mortality and smallness in the great tide of history. We loved the idea of something quite abstract, something that references landscape, feels mesmeric, melancholic, a little sinister but also quite beautiful.”
A new look Dissonants return with new single, ‘Harlequin’.
“It’s been a tough year or so for us with the instability in the line-up, and at several points myself, Ben and Aaron wondered if the band would cease to exist, as it just felt like setback after setback was crippling us. Cuba and Harvey coming into the fold has been a massive breathe of fresh air, and has totally reinvigorated us with the ideas they’ve bought to the table. On this new track, Harlequin, I believe we’ve never sounded better as a band”, explains bassist Mike Barton.
‘Decay’ – Trashed
Bristol-based emo punk-rockers Trashed share new single, ‘Decay’, ahead of their debut album ‘Happy In Hindsight’.
Speaking about the single, the band state: “Decay was the first song written for the album. It’s like a journal entry about being trapped between existential apathy and a desire to overcome it. We wrote the lyrics to be deep and relatable without being overwhelming or uncomfortable. It’s also a transitional song for us. We’re ready to move on from what we’ve done before, which is symbolised in the artwork. This track lays the foundation for what’s to come, perfectly.”
‘The Moon’ – The Shipbuilders
Surf-Rock scousers The Shipbuilders ready debut album, ‘Spring Tide’ with the single, ‘The Moon’.
Speaking of the track, singer Matty Loughlin-Day explains: “I’ve long been fascinated and drawn towards the concept of ‘Cante Jondo’, the folk music of Andalusia that literally translates to ‘deep song’. Moon’ came from a contemplation of all of this. It’s a song written from the perspective of a soldier in the Spanish Civil War who, while standing underneath a haloed moon, can hear “the wailing of this life and the next collide” while lamenting his love’s death and pondering if the same fate will fall on him…”