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Hard-Fi on their first UK tour in a decade and why new music could be on the way

After returning last year, frontman Richard Archer tells Rolling Stone UK why Hard-Fi are going back on the road.

By Nick Reilly

Hard-Fi (Picture: Alamy)

As Hard-Fi announce their first UK tour in over a decade, frontman Richard Archer has discussed the prospect of hitting the road once more – and why new music from the group could be in the offing.

The Staines group, who returned for a one-off show at London’s O2 Forum Kentish Town last year, will head out for a 13 date run in October, taking in cities such as Newcastle, Glasgow, Birmingham and Liverpool.

Speaking to Rolling Stone UK, Archer explained how the overwhelming response to their comeback show – which sold out in minutes – prompted the Stars of CCTV group to contemplate a whole tour.

“We did a handful of shows last year and we didn’t really have any idea how they’d go,” explained Archer.

“Even whether anyone would turn up and how it would be on stage because, you know, so much time had passed. But they were just great, being with the band again and the fans. It felt really good and a tour felt like the next natural step.”

But if previous tours have meant the chance for a whistle-stop journey across the UK, Archer is hoping that these dates will allow the group to spend more time in each city and soak up local delights.

“It’s just about making the effort and going to see these things, because we’re all a little bit older now,” explained Archer.

“Maybe we can put out on social media that we’re coming to these towns and ask the locals where to go, some good places to eat out and some good places to check out. It can all be a little bit like an old Alan Whicker documentary!”

While Archer is aware that fans will be there to hear the indie rock highs of Stars Of CCTV, he’s confirmed that new music from the group could well be in the offing too.

“We’re sort of taking baby steps a little bit because, you know, I’m sitting here thinking that in a dream world, we’ll do some dates and we’ll release new music. We just don’t want to be going out and playing the old songs over and over again.”

Asked what new music could sound like, Archer responded: “Hopefully we’ll have a song or two ready for the tour. But, I wanna try and keep it quite clean. When I say that, I mean, you know, it’s, it’s very easy and we have been very guilty of it, to put loads of stuff on a track.

“We played the back room of a pub in Milton Keynes last year and one thing that struck me is that when we were playing the first album songs, they felt like they really suited that room. They just worked, but some second album songs did.

“But when we played them at the Forum, they went down a lot better. It’s like they were too cinematic for this little stage, but the first album songs felt more kind of punk rock, I guess. I’d like to get a point where, you know, you almost have a manifest of going ‘we’ve got our key parts, we’ve got our key moments, key instruments, key instrumentation, so let’s try and keep it a little bit stripped.”

For, now, however, it’s full steam ahead until the tour.

“Our comeback shows last year were probably a lot of people’s first gigs first or second gig since the pandemic,” said Archer.

“And there was a rail strike that day as well. So people had sort of moved heaven and Earth to get there and it felt like a real kind of release, you know, watching the crowd, you know, they were singing along to every song. It was just brilliant and that’s what we’re hoping for more of.”

“However, I would have to say I was lacking a bit of match fitness and, struggling a little bit,” he added.

“This time, I need to get out and start, you know, getting my arse in shape!”

October 2023 Tour Dates:

Thurs 5th – Cambridge – Junction
Fri 6th – Sheffield – The Leadmill
Sat 7th – Leeds – Beckett University
Mon 9th – Glasgow – SWG3 Galvanizers
Wed 11th – Newcastle – NX
Thurs 12th – Liverpool – O2 Academy
Fri 13th – Birmingham – O2 Institute
Sun 15th – Bristol – O2 Academy
Mon 16th – Oxford – O2 Academy
Tues 17th – Brighton – Chalk
Thurs 19th – Norwich – UEA
Fri 20th – Nottingham – Rock City
Sat 21st – London – Troxy