I’ve been looking forward to this CD for a while, ever since Cash Machine caught my attention some time ago (last year? not sure). An earlier version was released independently last year, but here it is a a full release, suitably re-recorded and with more goodies.
Hard-Fi come from Staines, one of those towns outside London that people always seem to come from. Their songs are about the kind of desperation of ordinary lives in ordinary places, but with a lot of positive attitude.
Opening track Cash Machine is one of the best, or at least the most immediately appealing items here. It’s about not having enough money to get from one pay day to the next. When the cash machine tells you that you have no money left in the bank:
Go to a cash machine, to get a ticket home
A message on the screen says don’t make any plans you’re broke
No, no, this can’t be right, I know that times is tight
I’ve only just been paid – three weeks, five days till I’m seen right
Things only get worse. His mobile phone’s out of credit, so he can’t phone anyone, and he can’t travel without paying because a ticket inspector is around. And now his girlfriend is pregnant
What am I going to do, my girlfriend’s test turned blue
We tried to play it safe, that night we could not wait
No, no, this can’t be right, she said it would be all right
I can’t afford to be a daddy, so I leave tonight
Tied up too tight is about the feeling of being an outsider in a small town, and comes complete with a “na na na na na” sing along chorus, which is nearly too cheesy to pass, but somehow works.
Hard to beat is a love song, more or less, and does as good a job as I’ve ever heard of describing the feeling of being totally blown away by that one person..
Can you feel it? Rockin’ in the city
Ah yeah, straight out of nowhereness
Like a fist, can’t resist you, oh no
I tell you something
You know I love ya, just wanna touch ya
Stand up, knock me right off my feet
Hard to beat, hard to beat, hard to beat
And there is, as they say, much more. The CD ends with the title track, which is more fun than several barrels of especially entertaining monkeys – all about being the star of your own life’s movie thanks to the security cameras that follow us all everywhere…
We’re the stars of CCTV
Making movies out on the street
Flashing blue lights, camera action
Once in my life – main attraction
We’re the stars of CCTV
Can’t you see the camera loves me
All good stuff, and well worth a listen or six. And now CDs are getting cheaper again, there’s no excuse for not getting it! Or go to your favourite download site, if that’s your thing…
 And not just because it came out while I was in Amsterdam!
 That’s Stars of CCTV for anyone not paying attention
 I’m not sure if barrels of monkeys really are that much fun, but it’s one of those expression thingies that people use. I don’t think I’ll bother with it again