“You are all witnessing the resurrection of Hardwicke Circus”. As with all musicians they’ve been on an enforced hiatus but at only their second live show back this is what the crowd were told by lead singer Jonny Foster.
As far as shows go it may have seemed a little different. Hardwicke Circus have played some large arenas and festivals over the last few years, including supporting the likes of Madness, Neil Young and Bob Dylan; but here they were outside the Duke of Cumberland pub, on Castle Carrock’s village green. The restrictive rules around dancing and singing currently in place meant that at times it must have felt difficult for the band, but they overcame this with aplomb.
I must admit that Hardwicke Circus are not a band this Clunk reporter was particularly familiar with, but when Clunk Stuart informed me of the gig, I jumped at the chance to see some live music for the first time in aeons. The band did not disappoint their audience. From their tent, overlooking the crowds sat at picnic tables; the group played through their own back catalogue, interspersed with rock’n’roll covers from the likes of the Stones, Chuck Berry, The Band, Bob Dylan and others.
Despite the lack of dancing from much of the audience (although there were many who clearly wanted to push the rules), the band brought their own energy to the fore. Saxophonist Andy Phillips made plenty of forays onto the green, and the group certainly impressed the fans who were glad to see one of their favourites make a return to the stage, as well as winning over new supporters, this Clunk reporter included.
The resurrection of Hardwicke Circus, and the rebirth of live music. Good to be back!