My first introduction of Richard Hawley came from his live appearance alongside Elbow, many years back at the Motorpoint Arena in his hometown of Sheffield. Tonight, Hawley is once again reunited with Guy Garvey, this time performing a headline show at Garvey’s curated Meltdown Festival at the Southbank Centre.
The majestic Royal Festival Hall, makes for the perfect venue for Hawley’s timeless melodies. His set comprises of much from his latest LP, the critically acclaimed Hollow Meadows. However with the opening trio of lead single Which Way, the much loved Tonight The Streets Are Ours, poignantly dedicated to Labour MP Jo Cox this evening, and the far more psychedelic sounding Standing At The Skye’s Edge, Hawley immediately shows the vast variety in his material, from a solo career which now spans 15 years and 7 studio LPs.
The ex-Longpigs man, and once Pulp guitarist, has a powerful back catalogue, further shown with Open Up Your Door, both a standout track from Truelove’s Gutter, and a real highlight from tonight’s gig. Other favourites come in the form of Down In The Woods, Don’t Stare At The Sun, and the powerful Heart of Oak, a track which really shows the great ability of long-time collaborator and guitarist Shez Sheridan. His band are incredibly tight, a great collective, and as Hawley humbly states “It says Richard Hawley on the ticket, but we’re a band”.
Fan-favourite The Ocean makes up a three-song encore which also included Coles Corner and What Love Means. Hawley once again demonstrated that he is not only one of the great, yet underrated singer-songwriters of the current day, but also an excellent live performer.
After a string of festival appearances, Hawley is back on the road in September for a number of headline shows, with dates in Newcastle, York and Edinburgh all arranged.
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