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Championship

Hard-Fi x Brentford FC takeover

3 August 2020

Hard-Fi have delivered their own Brentford FC Playlist mash-up, with a little help from the fans! The playlist is designed to get all Bees fans pumped for Tuesday night's Play-Off Final.

Press play ahead of kick-off and spread the word. Follow and share here: https://bit.ly/BrentfordFCMatchday

Lead vocalist Richard Archer has completed a Q&A ahead of the game, speaking about all things Brentford! 

Firstly Richard, how good is it to see your beloved Brentford in the Play-Off Final?

Well, I think every Brentford fan would’ve preferred to have been able to snatch that second automatic promotion spot, we don’t have a great record in the Play-Offs, however this Brentford side is very special - if they can play at their best I don’t think anyone can touch us.

What a season it’s been for them – do you still watch as closely as ever?

I still have a season ticket so go to the home games as well as the occasional visit to Shepherds Bush or Putney Bridge. It’s been an incredible season, there were a few results earlier in the season where we totally dominated but ended up losing and who knows where we could’ve been had we won those? But we had a lot of new signings bedding in so it’s understandable. People were saying we’d really struggle as we didn’t replace Neal Maupay but here we are!

Tell us a bit about how you became a fan and your early memories of the club?

When I was growing up all my mates were Chelsea, Arsenal or Spurs fans and I have to admit to having had a soft spot for Liverpool, but my Dad’s family were from Isleworth & Brentford and my cousin worked at the club.

For my birthday he got me and mates into a game at Griffin Park, I remember the stand felt huge! I’m sure it would’ve been the first football game for most of my pals also. Then I’d talk to my uncle who knew a lot of the club’s history and had loads of old programmes that I’d look through. Over the years what really strikes you is how welcoming the place is. We may not be the biggest club but it’s a special club.

Everyone talks about Brentford’s ‘BMW’, but who’s your favourite player in the current side?

I don’t think I can name one player, Saïd Benrahma is obviously a fantastic player to watch and has been at the heart of what we’ve achieved this season, but Ollie Watkins - his fitness is incredible! He’s played every game this season and never stops running, stepping into Neal Maupay’s shoes - he showed no fear and has really delivered. Rico Henry has been really great and, sadly he’s been injured for a lot of this season, but I have a man crush on Sergi Canos - his passion for the club is amazing.

Your band, Hard-Fi, famously sang ‘Hard to Beat’, and Brenford have been exactly that this season! What do you make of Thomas Frank and how he’s got them playing?

Since coming up into the Championship Brentford have always been exciting going forward but Frank and his team identified that we susceptible to letting in goals especially with a young side, we often made mistakes at the back. So tightening up the defence to make it one of the best in the league has been a major achievement.

Our four recent centre backs John Egan, Ezri Konsa, James Tarkowski and (until recently) Chris Mepham all moved on play in the Premier League, yet our defence now is the best we’ve had. However, we haven’t sacrificed our style of play for that. Frank is also a very cool guy and seems to totally get what Brentford is about, I think his coolness spreads to the team when they play.

To reach the Final in the last-ever game at Griffin Park was special too, wasn’t it?

It was! I just wish we could’ve all been there! There was something in my eye watching the video of the lights going out.

What are your favourite memories of Griffin Park, and have you seen the new stadium?

Well the first time I went there is obviously very special, knocking Everton out of the League Cup under the floodlights was a special night.

But recently the football has been so good, my brother and I go to every home game and the buzz about the place is fantastic. It’s always been a friendly place and so many away fans have Brentford as their favourite away day. I’ve been to the new stadium (or had a look from the office next door) and it’s terrific - it’s going to be mega. I’ll miss Griffin Park, but not the fourth pillar from the right on the Braemar Road stand.

How would you rate Brentford’s chances in the Premier League if they do go up?

I don’t see why we can’t stay up, the club’s recruitment is fantastic  - if we can add a bit of strength in depth who knows? I also know that, because of how well the club is run, if we do come back down it won’t be the end of the world, it will have been taken into account and we’ll go again to coin a well worn phrase.

Tell us a bit about what you’re up to these days…

I’ve been writing and producing with some great artists and new young bands which i’ve really enjoyed. My latest project is a new band called OffWorld, I’ve managed to get together some cool musicians including Amy Winehouse’s bassist & MD Dale Davis (on bass obvs), Smiley Barnard who has played drums with Joe Strummer among many others, Stars Of CCTV producer Wolsey White on guitar and Olivier Award nominated Krysten Cummings sings with me, she is incredible I can’t believe she’s not a household name.

We put some singles out earlier this year but COVID got in the way, hopefully we’ll be back out there soon. I’ve also been having a few jam sessions with the Hard-Fi boys so you never know, but OffWorld is my priority at the moment, I would say it but I think the music is really, really great, I’m very proud of it.

Finally, how do you see the Final going – let’s have a score prediction?

So, Fulham are favourites surely? With all the money they’ve spent, they’ve got experienced players who’ve been in this situation before. We have beaten them home and away this season though, so... I get super strung out on these occasions so for my own sake I’m hoping we’re 3-0 up at half-time, maybe they can have a late consolation, final score - 4-1 to the Super Bees.


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