Richard Hawley at Somerset House Summer Series
Sheffield’s own Richard Hawley first rose to prominence on the Britpop scene in the early 90s with his band, Longpips, and later took up guitar alongside Jarvis Cocker in Pulp. He has since pursued a successful solo career and earned a dedicated fan base of his own, as evidenced by his sold out concert for the Somerset House Summer Series.
As well as being renowned for his talent as a guitarist, Hawley is recognised by his romantic, melancholy style and smooth vocals. This is exactly what the excited crowd seems to expect on this balmy Sunday evening in this beautiful historic venue – and Hawley doesn’t disappoint. He is charming and engaging from the moment he steps onto the stage and the cheerful banter carries on throughout the performance. Hawley discusses family, drugs, politics and The Simpsons with his audience between songs. He is humble and genuinely grateful, and this informs a distinct passion in his music.
Hawley’s voice has a timeless quality to it, lulling and powerful throughout the set. This is a man whose lyrics speak of happy days spent with his children and the deep love he feels for his wife, with a sincerity that is clear in his songs. He switches fluidly between electric and acoustic guitars, and makes sure to display his illustrious talent with several reverberating riffs. When Hawley invites bassist Johnny Wood on stage for two rockabilly numbers, the audience transforms into a sea of gleeful swing dancers. The style is one that suits Hawley’s rich baritone, and both the crowd and the band are the liveliest they have been all night.
Richard Hawley is one of those treasured artists that could appeal to any listener, but fans of easy listening and rockabilly will undoubtedly enjoy his laid-back and down-to-earth performances.
Photos: Indrek Galetin
For further information and future events visit Richard Hawley’s website here.
Watch the video for Don’t Stare at the Sun here: