"Cash Machine" is the debut single by English indie rock band Hard-Fi, taken from their debut album Stars of CCTV. It was originally released on 24 January 2005, where it was ineligible in the UK Singles Chart due to the inclusion of a sticker. After the success of singles such as "Hard to Beat", it was re-released on 26 December 2005 peaking at #14 in the UK singles chart and #15 on the US Modern Rock chart. There have been three different music videos: one low-budget for the original release, and two versions for the re-release.
Hard-Fi frontman Richard Archer describes this song as being about "Having no money"; the song however, is much deeper than that, it tells of the kind of life Archer may have lived before reaching success, "Go to a cash machine, to get a ticket home, a message on the screen, says don't make plans you're broke" and "I try to skip the fare, ticket inspectors there." Another issue that he mentions is "What am I gonna do? My girlfriend's test turned blue (she had become pregnant)... I can't afford to be a daddy so I leave tonight".
Also interesting to note of this song is the reference/adaptation of an old folk song. The lyrics towards the very end of the song are: "There's a hole in my pocket! My pocket! My pocket!" This is an adaptation of the folk song, "There's a Hole in the Bucket."
The original release of "Cash Machine" was not intended by the band to be chart eligible, instead it was released to get the band radio play and hype for the following release, "Tied Up Too Tight". As a result, it was released with a free sticker, a stunt pulled to force the single into being released. The single sold approximately 3,000 copies, which was about how many copies of the single were actually released and would have reached #40 had it been eligible.
The band had pre-planned to release the song later which turned out to be on 26 December 2005, where it reached #14 in the UK Singles Charts, #15 in the US Modern Rock chart and top 40 in the Netherlands, Italy and Ireland.
The song is featured as part of the FIFA Manager 06 soundtrack.
There are three different music videos for the song.
This is the original video which has Hard-Fi's boss "Mr. Big" telling the band that "the reason you boys are so skint is the record company hasn't paid us." He orders them to steal the tapes from a courier at Heathrow Airport. The band, wearing masks of political figures such as Queen Elizabeth II and Tony Blair, end up mostly fighting each other, while lead singer Archer discovers the case believed to hold the tapes. He is then held at gunpoint by the courier, but saved by the other three band members, guitarist Ross Phillips, drummer Steve Kemp and bassist Kai Stephens, who jump on the courier and take the case. The band cover him with Silly String and take the case to a hideout to discover that it contains only the courier's lunch. Archer then exclaims "Oh knickers!" and the others shake their heads in disappointment.
The video is interspersed with shots of the band playing in a field near an airport as large planes fly overhead. It contains a sly reference to their idols the Clash: during the performance in the field, Archer pulls a mask off of Stephens' face - in the video for "Rock the Casbah", when Joe Strummer reveals guitarist Mick Jones' face.
Archer explains that "The budget was less than £1,000. The whole budget was pizza, beer and world leader masks. The rest was favours from friends, but for the second one we had much more money. When we made that single we weren't signed to a major label yet but a small independent (who we're still signed to but have licensed to the major). So we had no money, we'd made this little mini-album for just £300 in a lock-up in Staines on a moldy old laptop that kept crashing. And we thought we needed a single and a video for it. But we had no money. A mate of mine was pretty good with a camera, and we decided to make a Heist movie, because we'd seen a documentary about a heist and the U2 "Beautiful Day" video - obviously that was done with CGI graphics and hundreds of thousands of pounds, but we thought 'Let's use our brains, our resources, what's round us. We live right underneath Heathrow Airport, let's go and do it for real.' So, we scouted the area, worked out which way the planes were flying, and got up early one morning, got the gear over the fence, set up and assessed the risks: Best case scenario, we could get away with it - unlikely; or we could get moved on, that wouldn't be so bad; arrested - tricky; or shot - dead. That's pretty bad. But we were there for about half an hour. The security must have seen us with all this gear, playing a gig at the end of the runway and thought we must've had permission. The hardest bit was we had a portable stereo playing the track to mime along to, which sounded loud in the room but outdoors with a 747 going over your head and the ground shaking you can't hear anything. So, if you look carefully we're all out of sync. And then we'd gone by then. I love it when a plan comes together."
"We were trying to make an impressive looking video with no money. And of course, the airport's on our doorstep so we thought we'd use it. The guy who was directing it went into the visitors centre and said 'I'm moving into the area. Can you tell me where the planes will be coming in tomorrow cos I want to know how they relate to the house I'm buying.' So we found out which way they were coming in, got the gear over the fence and set it up thinking that any minute now, we'll be out of here and it will be all over. But I think the people who saw us - a band set up and playing music - though they must have permission otherwise it's too ridiculous, so they left us to get on with it. So we got what we needed then quickly got out of there."File Hashes