Their new single has gone viral and a UK tour is expected to be a sellout, but for Hurts, Richmond Live is the ultimate gig. Katherine Purvis talks to frontman Theo Hutchcraft.
NOT every new band are lucky enough to feature a pop princess on their debut album, but for synth-pop duo, Hurts, it was simply a case of writing a letter. None other than Kylie Minogue appears on album track Devotion.
“We wanted someone who sounded like her, so we just thought: ‘Why don’t we ask The Kylie?’ I imagined my old self in Richmond and I was thinking ‘What if I had the opportunity to ask her, what would I do?’” says Theo Hutchcraft.
Born in Stockton, Hutchcraft lived in Richmond until the age of 18. He attended Darlington College and went on to study in Manchester, where he met fellow band member Adam Anderson.
“We met outside a nightclub when our friends were having a fight. His friends were fighting my friends and instead of fighting each other, we talked about Prince.” Their rapid bond over music resulted in them forming a couple of bands together, before creating Hurts 18 months ago.
Success for the duo came almost instantly. They were signed by Sony after six months and came fourth in the BBC’s Sound of 2010 Poll.
They are currently topping the charts in Germany and Denmark and have an extensive tour coming up covering the UK and mainland Europe. All this and their debut album Happiness hasn’t even been released yet.
“It went really crazy, really quickly. It’s a million miles away from Richmond, let’s put it that way,” says Hutchcraft.
Hurts have been likened to great electronic pop acts such as Tears for Fears and Ultravox, and while Hutchcraft accepts such comparisons as a huge compliment, he says it’s important not to dwell on the Eighties too much.
Instead, he counts more contemporary bands among his influences: “We just wanted to make great pop music that was different to the rest. That’s what we tried to do really and we’ll always keep trying to do it.”
But despite working with an international pop sensation, receiving recognition across Europe and playing countless festivals this summer, Hutchcraft still holds his North Yorkshire hometown close to his heart: “It’s the people and the place that make me who I am,” he explains.
And after all the madness has died down there is one gig in particular, which Hutchcraft has set his sights on.
“There’s a festival in Richmond called Richmond Live (which took place at the beginning of last month), which one day might be interesting. It’d be nice to go and give something back.”