Jack Robert Hardman tipped for successBy Linda Serck
January 24, 2013
Things are going rather well for Ascot’s Jack Robert Hardman.
The young alternative pop artist, who released his debut album last year on the prestigious Cooking Vinyl indie label, was named as one of 2013’s breakthrough artists in the Sunday Times Culture magazine by the owner of another respected indie label, Simon Raymonde from Bella Union.
The 23-year-old surely must have been over the moon.
“I was more shocked,” he said. “In this sort of situation I always assumed people would tell you, give you a warning and say ‘oh by the way Jack, you’re going to be in the Sunday Times’.
“But it was a friend of mine who saw it and posted a picture of it on Twitter and that was the first I had heard of it, so I had to run down to Tesco’s and buy a copy.”
And the tastemakers of Britain have got it spot on, as the word is spreading fast about Jack and his quirky writing style and breezy vocals.
The American blog I Guess I’m Floating picked up on his new reverb-laden choral track Plymouth, stating: “If Fleet Foxes or Grizzly Bear or Twin Shadow released this song, the whole world would be freaking out.”
“There’s something about a blog in New York,” says Jack. “I don’t know if this is just because I’m just from a small place, but it kind of makes it more exciting.”
And he has also suddenly pricked up the ears of music fans in Italy thanks to massive Italian music site Stereomood.com featuring Plymouth, which led it to gaining just under 7,000 streams in a month.
“I was just browsing the internet just checking the statistics,” said Jack, “and I went on Soundcloud and the song had 700 plays that day!
“Of course with numbers like that I nearly had a little heart attack.
“I couldn’t work out what was going on and then I found out the Italians were into it.”
And in the spirit of making hay while the sun shines, Jack’s self-titled album may very well find itself being released in Italy soon.
Plymouth was also played on Radio One by Introducing presenter Jen Long, who describes the album as beautiful. And the song has also made it on to presenter Tom Robinson’s BBC 6music mixtape.
Not bad for a track written for a friend as a farewell before they went off to study at Plymouth university.
But it isn’t just brazen luck that has led Jack’s name to be bandied about excitedly across the world.
He’s worked hard at it for about four years, sending out demos and contacting labels.
“I just sent songs in every direction, and thankfully they (Cooking Vinyl) listened to them and liked them.
“I wish there was some exciting Hollywood story where they saw me in a bar, but no, I threw lots of musical mud at the wall and it worked.”
He adds: “That would be my advice to anyone wanting to do it – just throw the mud.”
You can download Plymouth for free at www.jackroberthardman.co.uk
Reading metallers Malefice have unveiled the details of their forthcoming fifth album, Five.
It will feature the heaviest songs they’ve ever written, with frontman Dale Butler saying we should expect “more bounce than ever, more hate than ever and more soul than ever”.
Since starting in 2003 the band set out to make undeniably British metal that was bold and brutal.
“After being written off we’re back to where we thrive the most – being the underdog,” says Dale. “We’ve always delivered something new and exciting in adversity and this time is no exception.
“The changes we have made have given us time to regroup and reinvent the sound of this band.
“This is the album we always wanted to write, where the evolution has taken us and has renewed our ‘take no prisoners’ attitude, something we always have at our live shows – you can hear the clarion call to arms in this recording.
“It’ll be the soundtrack to your parties in 2013.”
The seven-track album will be released through Transcend Music on April 28.
See www.maleficeuk.com for more info.
Reading hard rockers Attention Thieves have just announced a full UK tour in February and March with Neck Deep.
Kicking off in Bath on February 21, they will of course be making their way to Reading when they play Sub89 on March 10.
The four-piece were chosen to play on the BBC Introducing stage at the Reading and Leeds festivals last year and Kerrang named them as “at the forefront of a new wave of exciting British bands”.
What’s more, they also have a new single called Can’t See The Light, which you can listen to here: www.soundcloud.com/attentionthieves/cant-see-the-light
As a massive fan of the Success 80s night at the After Dark club in London Street, Reading, I was very pleased to receive my gold membership card in the post the other day.
I decided to post a photo on the club’s Facebook group page – of the card alongside some appropriate faces whose 80s hits I’ve danced to many a time in there.
And this led manager Neil Richards to have a brainwave:
“Maybe we could start a thread with your AD membership card pictured in famous places or with famous people,” he wrote.
“Next time someone goes to some exotic location take a picture with your AD card, post it on here and we’ll give you free entry and a drink or two.”
You can apply for your free membership card at www.theafterdarkclub.com.
Listen to Linda Serck every Saturday on BBC Radio Berkshire at 8pm. Send your music news and listings to firstname.lastname@example.org