Friday, January 27, 2006
Hard-Fi @ the Middle East - 16 Jan 2006
I saw Hard-Fi as an FNX card free show at the Middle East downstairs on Monday the 16th.
Hard-Fi site Hard-Fi Myspace
Hard-Fi have been constantly playing in my subconscious for about a year. While I was working at the Joslin Diabetes Center, I needed some tunes to get by, and I eventually tuned to the wonderful saviour-of-my-existence: BBC 6 Music (over the internet).
Hard-Fi had just begun their run of solid singles in the UK with "Cash Machine". Its a song I enjoy a lot now. At first I thought it was pretty hokey; like this was an indie band acting as boy band. but there was an earnestness at play. The song is pretty much about how you work for little money and next thing you know, its gone. Simple, and the song includes melodica backing (its like a little keyboard you blow into, sounds like a harmonica).
Then there was another single "Tied Up Too Tight", about how the "cognoscenti don't like us" as they blast out of the suburbs into London. fairly rockin.
What finally hit me was their single "Hard to Beat". Another great pop song that rocks. I find it utterly irresistable. Great beat, great urgency. Its all about how the lead singer fancies this lady and how they'll make a big splash when they're together. "Can you feel it? Rockin the city".
As for the show, they delivered their album "Stars of CCTV" (CCTV for Americans means 'closed-circuit TV', the UK is covered in security cameras recording your drunken actions on the street, making you the "star" of CCTV). As far as musicianship goes, they were tight and pretty close to the record.
The frontman Richard Archer gave the crowd quite a performance himself as a charismatic leader. he held the crowd in full attention with his antics. you could giggle at his melodica bursts, but it was done with such enthusiasm that you had to admit it works.
Also enjoyable was a vigorous dub-rock rendition of the White Stripes' "Seven Nation Army". yes, with melodica.
Great performance. Hope to see some more animated British bands soon.
Though now that i said that, i'm sad that i won't actually get to see THE animated british band The Gorillaz, as they will be performing at the Coachella Festival a little after my trip to retrieve the beautiful Carolyn from the clutches of the UK and Spain. Damn Cash Machine.