Album review: HARDWICKE CIRCUS – The Borderland

Website [Release date 23.07.21]

This band hail from Carlisle, apparently Hardwicke Circus is the first roundabout in Carlisle, as a the band say, they are the “greatest band you’ve never heard of”, somehow I think that is all about to change with this awesome debut album.

They have already released one single from the album- “Let’s make new mistakes” – which I love and completely agree with the sentiment.

The smooth, dark chocolate vocals of Jonny Foster, entice you into the opening track, “Guiding Light”. With no less than three of the band doing a majestic job on backing vocals, and complimenting the lead vocalist perfectly, leaving you assured you’re in the presence of an accomplished new band who work seamlessly together to produce pure class.

‘Lockdown’ – this is about the band holing up together in a cottage during lockdown to write when their live shows got canned, a tad tongue in cheek narration but nevertheless it is no filler and a great reflection on how this band adapted to ensure they continued on their musical journey when their gigs got cancelled.

The style of ‘Carry the Torch’ is reminiscent for me of Gaslight Anthem both in melody and lyrical style “ I know there’s an ocean between every wave”

If you’re not up and dancing along to the infectious beat of ‘My Sweet Love’ then please check if you’ve still got a pulse!

‘Hands up, Don’t Shoot’ is very Stranglers-esque, personally I like it. ‘The Ballad of the Gypsy King’ is all about Tyson Fury. What story-telling, stylistically I could hear the influence of Shinedown, love the diversity on this album.

The closing track of the album is ‘The Debateable Land’ which has very poignant lyrics, a real call to arms.

Personal stand out tracks: No Surrender, Nowhere Left to Run, Let’s Make New Mistakes (I’m game!), A Reason to Believe

I would love to see this band live, they’ve undoubtedly got an exciting future ahead of them

This is a cracking, feel good album that is completely new and yet lulls you into a sense of familiarity, possibly because of some of the influences that have clearly helped developed their unique style.

I know it’s good when I’m not even halfway through the album, and I’d already added it to my top 10 albums of the year – what a debut, buckle up and enjoy the circus ride! *****

Review by Karen Clayton

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Power Plays w/c 13 June 2022 (Mon-Fri)
IVORY SKIES – Bring Me Up (indie)
HONG FAUX Feign Death To Stay Alive (Golden Robot Records)
OVERLAPS Mind Over Matter (indie)
SOLE SYNDICATE – Brave Enough (Scarlet Records)
DAVID PAICH Spirit Of The Moonrise (Mascot)
JAILBIRDS The River (indie)

Featured Albums w/c 13 June (Mon-Fri)
09:00-12:00 DEF LEPPARD Diamond Star Halos (BMG)
12:00-13:00 LONERIDER Sundown (Escape Music)
14:00-16:00 VANDERWOLF 12 Little Killers (Vandermax Music)

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