Painting the town blue

DIRTY Blues outfit The HardChargers are set to electrify local audiences at the upcoming Quay Vipers Snakebite Rally and the Belfast City Blues Festival.

Chris Todd, Richard Hodgen and Dave Thompson make up the band and have been playing the local and national rock and blues circuit for the past two years - gaining widespread critical acclaim.

Dave Thompson, Chris Todd and Richard Hodgy make up The HardChargers. INNT 32-606con

Dave Thompson, Chris Todd and Richard Hodgy make up The HardChargers. INNT 32-606con

Ballyclare man Chris Todd plays guitar and vocals in the outfit, he said: “We are an uncompromising Blues, roots and rock outfit.

“While we do play some classic tracks, we all write and produce our a lot of our material and I think that goes down well with local audiences.

“Our shows are uncompromising, powerful and forceful - we love to perform and we can get carried away. It can be a fantastic show for the audience.

“Hodgy plays the drums and gets his washboard out at the same time and that can be some sight. I think we play with such abandon that it beings the audience along for us - but the focus is always on the music.”

The band has self-produced and financed its first EP ‘Bumpin’ and Grindin’’ which featured Billy Boy Miskimmin of Mercy Lounge.

It gained critical success and was described as being “high octane”, “close in pitch to early Fleetwood Mac” and possibly a collector’s item in the future.

They are currently working on a full-length recording project in-between their busy touring schedule.

Chris continued: “My influences come from modern Blues from the likes of Rory Gallagher, Stevie Ray Vaughan and Freddie King - so long as it is honest Blues that is very important to us.

“We like to translate that into our own songs. We do not write songs about how we lived in old time Mississippi, we are from where we are from and it is very important our music reflects that.

“And the audience does respond well.”

He added: “For me the dream is to keep doing what we are doing and being able to make a steady living from it.

“I would like to tour at as high a level as possible across England, Scotland and Wales and we are determined to put the work in to make it happen.

“The buzz of live performance is incredible. It’s like you can reinvent yourself each night and put your heart and soul into it.”

The band will be appearing at the Quay Vipers annual Snakebite Rally on Boucher Road, Belfast this Sunday, August 12. They are also appearing in the Belfast City Blues Festival between August 23 and 26 and later this year they will be playing the Monaghan Blues Festival.

Music by The HardChargers is available on iTunes and further information on the band can be found on Facebook or