Debut album 'Stars of CCTV' triumphantly announced Hard-Fi's arrival back in 2005. They gave the public both barrels at a time when life could have been better. The Iraq war, London bombings, a government in decline, that was the backdrop that nurtured the first LP. Mostly recorded in a disused cab office their DIY approach struck a chord, and very quickly the Staines four-piece were the toast of the town.

Another number 1 album followed and then a third top 10 album, 'Once Upon A Time In The West' and 'Killer Sounds' respectively. Then the line went dead...

Fast forward 8 years and out of the blue Hard-Fi announce a Manchester & London gig. With the original line-up, a celebration of the stunning debut on its 17th anniversary. You can draw parallels to 2005, Ukraine war, economic downturn, cash strapped society, it feels like the the conditions are right for Hard-Fi to return, the hiatus abruptly over.

Inside The Forum its a hive of energy. As the original line-up of Richard Archer (vocals/guitar), Kai Stephens (bass), Steve Kemp (drums) and Ross Phillips (guitar) make their way onto the stage the venue erupts. First track is 'Middle Eastern Holiday' the second song on Stars Of CCTV. 'Gotta Reason' follows and it's clear that the boys are on form loving every moment as is the crowd.

The vibe is chilled yet the excitement is palpable. Archer thanks the fans, his demeanour one of pleasant surprise. Gone is the first album swagger, on show is a maturer more meditative individual clearly happy to be back in the thick of it.

'Better Do Better' is a joy to behold and as 'Cash Machine' begins Richard Archer's melodica sounds better than ever with Hard-Fi's easily digestible ska infused sound working it's magic yet again. New track 'Looking For Fun' sounds one dimensional and hopefully not too indicative of what's to come but it's the old bangers that we are here for and 'Hard to Beat' and 'Tied Up Too Tight' deliver on all counts. 'Stars of CCTV' is the penultimate sing-a-long with notable setlist omissions being 'Unnecessary Trouble' & 'Feltham Is Singing Out'. A gracious thanks to all involved follows and Archer leads Hard-Fi into the night's closer, the glorious 'Living For The Weekend', worth the trip it's own.

Welcome back Hard-Fi, we missed you!

Middle Eastern Holiday
Gotta Reason
Can't Get Along (Without You)
Happy (Live debut)
You and Me
Seven Nation Army (White Stripes cover)
Tied Up Too Tight
Better Do Better
Good for Nothing
I Shall Overcome
Fire in the House
Cash Machine
Looking For Fun
Suburban Knights
Hard to Beat

Move on Now
Stars of CCTV
Living For The Weekend