Emerging band recommended by Beatles legend to perform live in Crewe
By Ryan Parker
25th Aug 2022 | Local News
An emerging band recommended by Sir Paul McCartney to play at Glastonbury 2022 - are coming to Crewe next month.
Hardwicke Circus will be hitting the stage at Crewe Alexandra's Railwaymen Bar and Lounge, on Gresty Road, on Thursday 15 September.
The five-piece band from Cumbrian border city, Carlisle, are fast building their reputation as one of the most exciting bands to emerge from the UK in recent years.
"We're so excited. This is our first time here in Crewe and we are really encouraging people to come - we really want to pack the venue out," says lead singer, Jonny Foster.
Hardwicke Circus' sound brings comparisons with the E Street Band and dark passion of classic-era The Doors - but with plenty of British authenticity.
"Someone told us we sound like Bruce Springsteen meets The Doors - that was a good comparison. We don't put a label on it. We listen to a lot of music," said the lead singer.
Made up of lead vocalist and guitarist, Jonny Foster, drummer and vocalist, Tom Foster, bassist and vocalist, Joe Hurst, keyboard player, Lewis Bewley-Taylor and saxophonist, Andy Sax - the band have played over 150 gigs this year.
2022 has also seen them release new single The Colour in Everything, as well as play the UK's biggest music festival.
Jonny told Crewe Nub News: "We're a touring band. We play our gigs from the ground up and getting the crowd along with us.
"Crewe is a super important gig for us and we want this to be a real special celebration of the band.
"We've passed through Crewe before but not been inside - now is our time.
Hardwicke Circus famously performed at Glastonbury 2022 - from the recommendation of English singer, songwriter and musician, Sir Paul McCartney.
The Northerners performed on the Rabbit Hole stage after the Beatles star had contacted the Glastonbury team and suggested the group for a slot. The out-of-the-blue recommendation hit the national press, to the delight of the band.
Jonny said: "We are still getting over that. Somewhere down the line he had heard our music.
"The stage decided they needed a group on and Paul said 'I know just the band'.
"We couldn't really believe it at first so we didn't publicise it too much - thinking we were too out of step here.
"Then Glastonbury themselves wrote a short-piece about us and how Paul had recommended us. It then felt more real."
And June wasn't the first time they had stood amongst the shoulders of giants. Hardwicke Circus also supported Bob Dylan and Neil Young at Hyde Park in 2019.
They have made appearances at the Isle of Wight Festival and Reading & Leeds Festival.
Jonny told Crewe Nub News: "This was a real moment for us. These are people we have looked up to since growing up.
"To be in Hyde Park, to play on the stage, to share the same bill. We had a huge reception and are very fortunate to have had that opportunity."
The lead singer believed one of the group's strengths is sounding unique - retaining their Cumbrian sound.
Jonny added: "Being from Carlisle, we believe one of the most important things is sounding where you come from.
"The streets you walk on, the pubs you go to, the people you hang around with, that forms your language and influences your sound."
"Whether that's the Smiths or Oasis from Manchester, for example - it's very important."
Being football fans of Carlisle United, the band are also relishing the chance to play inside the Railwaymen Bar and Lounge - at Crewe Alexandra Football Club.
The 26-year-old singer sees similarities between his hometown of Carlisle and Crewe, beyond just their passion for football.
He believed places outside of the big UK cities can sometimes be overlooked for musical talent.
Jonny said: "There are a lot of great bands are great art in locations other than London and Manchester.
"People are far too quick to jump to the biggest cities, because they think that's where everything is happening - but it's not true.
"If you look local, there's an awful lot of good stuff happening. It's just that it may be a little harder to find.
"Carlisle and Crewe are very good examples of that."
Last month (July 31), Hardwicke Circus headlined Kendal Calling's Yam Riot stage. Being the biggest festival in their home county of Cumbria, the energy was off the wall.
Their gig was enjoyed by thousands and a new band tradition was born.
Johnny said: "From Kendal Calling we started crowd-surfing. There were more than 2000 people doing. We aim to do that at every gig now."
Earlier this month, Hardwicke Circus performed at The Pelton Arms in Greenwich.
Freelance journalist for Record Collector magazine, Mark Taylor, gave his view on the band's performance.
Mr Taylor said: "Hardwicke Circus [are] one of the most promising and hardest working new bands the country has to offer at the moment.
"The folk/punk band from Carlisle sound like a crossbreed of The Boomtown Rats and Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band.
"Plenty of sax to the max with warm, hearty lyrics delivered with some clout."
The lead vocalist and guitarist says the band are currently working on their second album - in the process of looking through approximately 60 songs they have written.
Jonny added: "This is something we are really excited about. We will definitely be playing some of our new material at Crewe."
Their debut album The Borderland released in 2021, in the midst of the pandemic. You can listen to it here.
Hardwicke Circus will be supported by talented Crewe singer and performer, Olivia Amson-Orth and musician artist, Evan Kirwan.
Tickets for the Crewe gig are available and priced at £8. You can purchase them HERE.
Check out the Hardwicke Circus track Walking On Broken Glass by clicking the play button at the top of this article - recommended by frontman Jonny Foster.
READ MORE: 10 jobs to apply for in Crewe this week.
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