Craufurd Arms, Milton Keynes
Thursday 29th September 2022
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HARD-FI – MILTON KEYNES – LIVE REVIEW
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.
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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!
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