You only end up in Carlisle by accident. It’s on the boundary of England but not Scotland, on the edge of the lake district but not the countryside: we don’t fit. This storm centre of English drunkenness was home to an arms depot and an economy reliant on biscuits & the Blues.
Its business icon, Eddie Stobart, has a sole purpose to take things away from the city via its best-known roundabout, Hardwicke Circus. This city does not suffer fools; we export them.
Up against the wall as an independent band, Hardwicke Circus have fought this rule tooth & nail. Proudly wearing Carlisle on their sleeve, Fly The Flag – their second studio album – is a testament to the positive power regional identity plays in shaping the country’s art & music scenes. Just as Sam Fender or the Arctic Monkeys stay connected to
their sharp tongue local dialect, The Hardwickes (as they are known colloquially) encounter the deprivation many Northern towns are facing: “it’s a rough neck, blank cheque, silent howl, but I call it my town” sings Jonny Foster in ‘Our Town’. ’Night Train to London’ reflects the band’s reluctance to even ‘get out’: “the ungodly hour, platform 4, steam trumpets reach Carlisle”, writes drummer Tom Foster.
‘It’s Not Over Till It’s Over’ deals with the cynical nature of moving up the ladder with a northern accent: “give me a door cos I like to close them”. The album artwork by contemporary British painter Humphrey Ocean is perhaps the clearest indication of their northern roots; the green and blue of Cumbria waving amongst Carlisle’s brutalist structure ‘the civic centre’.
Already dubbed the UK’s hardest working band, Hardwicke Circus have performed well over 1000 shows nationwide: supporting Bob Dylan & Neil Young in Hyde Park, shows with Madness, Alabama 3, Southside Johnny, Bob Geldof’s Boomtown Rats and The Blockheads. They have gigged at the legendary Isle of Wight Festival, Reading & Leeds, the Woodlands Stage at Kendal Calling and gained airplay on BBC Introducing, Radio 1, Radio 2 & 6 Music. HC have released three albums – their studio debut “The Borderland”, a Live Prison album “At Her Majesty’s Pleasure”, and most recently their sophomore album “Fly The Flag”.
In summer 2022 – at the request of Sir Paul McCartney – the band was invited to play at Glastonbury, headlining the Rabbit Hole at 3am in the morning. The last band to play Glastonbury 2022. The last turkeys in the shop. In October they will embark on a sell-out tour of the Czech Republic – 20 shows in 21 days. Two shows a night. This is a band deadly determined to get their voices heard.
14 Fisher St
Carlisle CA3 8RN