HARD TIMES – Tales From The Wild Cat Place (2021)

HARD TIMES - Tales From The Wild Cat Place (2021) full

Formed in the early 1980’s in Inverness, UK, the story of HARD TIMES is one that is written into the memory of the people who watched their live shows all over the Scottish Highlands. The band recorded some demos, but didn’t officially released any material.
However, recent time conversations between band members ended with the release of ”Tales From The Wild Cat Place”, including many songs written all over the Eighties and new ones. The record also highlights many of the inevitable contrasts between being in a band then and now, and the opportunities musicians had and have now.
But dreams, aspirations and ambitions don’t seem to have changed much. Nor the musical style. ”Tales From The Wild Cat Place” has an unmistakable Eighties feel, blending melodic rock, lite prog, rock & pop, hard rock… Think a mix of early Marillion melodic side, ’80s Rush, a bit of Yes 90125, even some very early The Cult.

In many ways, the vital force behind Hard Times comeback has been Iain McLaughlin of IMOUT Records, who recorded and produced the songs over three years, Covid making its presence felt on the timeline.
He seems to have perfectly captured Hard Times’ essence as the band’s sound on this CD is defintly from the 80s – with modern technology – but what is really pleasant to hear is ‘that atmosphere’ into the studio so hard to recreate in modern times, even for veteran acts who recorded hit albums in that era.
A Highly Recommended album / band, and let’s hope they continue together for a sophomore release.


01 – TV Screen
02 – The Banshee
03 – The Summerlands
04 – Cry Freedom
05 – Do You Remember
06 – Holy Man
07 – Sunlight
08 – Whisky
09 – Rust

John Shaw – Lead Vocals
Mike Bell – Guitars, Bass, Synthesisers
Alasdair Macleod – Piano, Organ, Synths, Lead Vocals on 8
James Harvie – Drums, Percussion



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