Hard-Fi live at the Temple Bar Music Centre, Dublin

The voice of a new generation? A poor man’s Kaiser Chiefs? The band from the Lifestyle Sports ad? However one views the Staines phenomenon that is Hard-Fi, you can’t argue with a performance that sells out months in advance.

The voice of a new generation? A poor man’s Kaiser Chiefs? The band from the Lifestyle Sports ad? However one views the Staines phenomenon that is Hard-Fi, you can’t argue with a performance that sells out months in advance.

But to ease the blow for those left ticketless, take comfort in the fact that there was a gaping hole in tonight’s performance. It wasn’t that the band weren’t on form. Frontman Richard Archer made it very clear that he was an ecstatic man for being given the chance to leave his hometown, his appreciation being shown by leaping around with a vigour that’s exhilarating just to watch.

No, the concern was that stripped to their surface level – as masterpieces of musical art inevitably are when taken on the road – their songs were too similar in pace to shape to the evening in an intricate manner. Fact: when watched with squinted eyes, ‘Tied Up Too Tight’, ‘Hard To Beat’, ‘Cash Machine’ and ‘Middle Eastern Holiday’ are the same song – big choruses, indie chic, and a touch of ska. It takes the terrace call of ‘Feltham Is Singing Out’ to reawaken the crowd, and with the acoustic guitar skills of ‘Move On Now’ brought out for the start of the encore, only ‘Living For The Weekend’ helps move the seismometer during the grand finale stage. Granted, it doesn’t help that they’re cherry-picking from their one album which means there’s inevitably one taste, but a sneak preview of the similar yet new song ‘You And Me’ suggests that they just don’t have the breadth to match that of the Music Centre stage.

That said, from the way in which they vividly depict Staines on Stars Of CCTV, it would take a harsh critic to want to send them back there.

Pic: Graham Keogh

 

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