Richard Hawley

One gig, four perspectives.

Down the back of a packed Barfly are the liggers and record company reps. If you don’t spot them, you’ll definitely hear them, talking loudly throughout each and every song. Tonight is without a doubt an “I’m on the guest-list” special, and even on stage its impossible not to hear their incessant chatter.

“Hello to all the record company people back there, making the noise”. The rest of the audience extends the welcome with some sustained booing.

“Now now don’t be like that, they’ve got important stuff to discuss. You know like…”I’ve found this wonderful new act, can you help me with the marketing Tarquin”

While they talked amongst themselves, Steve Lamacq could be spotted sobbing uncontrollably to himself. Speaking later on 6music he proclaimed it an “absolutely brilliant” gig, explaining that he’d never cried at a gig before but opener “Coles Corner” simply moved him completely to tears.

Over on the Richard Hawley forum “SMCG” passed Steve a hanky, and told him to get a [email protected]£king grip!:

An outrageously lazy, dismissive gig. OK the songs are brilliant. he’s a great musician. the band are good. But what the F_ck was that? I’ve been to camden twice to try and get to this very gig, but this wasn’t worth the train fare.
If I’d stayed at home and listened to an album, at least I’d have been left with the idea that RH gave a sh_t about what he does, as it was, i saw more passion and more enjoyment when I saw the Tractors play Clock Face Miners Youth Club Hut in St.Helens in 1985. Now that was a gig ….SMCG

Richard Hawley

Somewhere in between these two are the majority of the crowd, and myself, enraptured by hearing great songs performed beautifully in such a intimate venue. Its true that at various points Richard didn’t seem to be having fun, mostly down to the natterers at the back, and one presumably tanked up fan who tried to conduct excruciating banter with the star of the show.

Fan: “You’re like a god Richard, isn’t he everyone!…do you ever feel like you were blessed with these talents by god himself Richard!?” Richard: “Errrr. No!” Fan: “Can you get us a lock-in Richard, I looovvvvveee you… please play all night” Richard: “Look I’d play all night personally but theres a curfew unfortunately

And so it continued between every song, until booed by the crowd Richard finally “had a word”:

“Look mate, thanks and everything, but if you want a bloody interview go and speak to my manager… I’m trying to play a gig here…just f£$king shut up will you… please”.

Personally I was glad to finally get to see him live, five years after first hearing “Baby You’re My Light (mp3)” while sat in a taxi back from work. To this day I simply can’t comprehend how it didn’t go straight to the top of the charts and sit there in the manner of Gnarls Barkley until deleted to give us all a breather. Played midset it remains a timeless song, guaranteed to pull on the heart strings… for a second I almost had a Lamacq moment.

When the music starts again you can move

“Baby You’re my light” was a highlight, but it was only one of many. “The Only Road”, – blissfully extended out from the album version – was magnificent, “The Ocean” superb, and to end the night “Run For Me” left everyone hollering for a sadly never to come encore.

The band were sublime throughout with the double bass in particular standing out, and it was a debut night for a new drummer who did a mean impression of Alan Shearer on drums, but unfortunately got his car towed away.

Posting on the forums Richard handily summed up a mixed but mostly magical night:

Sorry you weren’t happy what can i say? The whole day was a bit of a white knuckle ride to be honest,just to get through the day was an effort, first off…hotel… didn’t get there till four… fire alarms & firemen banging at the doors at six… had to stay out on the street in the rain till 8… radio promo started just after… surreal shit … get to the gig… new drummers first gig… all a bit nervous and tired but its cool he’s the don… supposed to rehearse the set… drummers car gets towed… spend the rest of the day getting that back………play a gig to an in general lovely crowd. Finally I was just being introduced to Roy Harper and some horrible woman with REALLY bad breath came up and shouted in my ear “you were shit” which we definitely were not……….Roy was very encouraging and inspiring and thought it was a boss gig 🙂 Thanks to all who came along we vibed and our new drummers ace Very Happy.

Richard Hawley Info:

Buy: Richard Hawleys albums are about £6-8 (inc. P+P) @ Amazon… grab one or two here.

Listen:Baby You’re My Light” (MP3) – Richard Hawley

“The Nights Are Cold (Acoustic)” (MP3) – Richard Hawley

For more free acoustic versions head over the download section of Richards site.


Videos from the gig courtesy of Dawoodcock on the Hawley forums

“Just Like The Rain” (Live @ Barfly)

“Something Is..” (Live & Barfly)

“The Motorcycle Song” (Live @ Barfly)

“Oh My Love” (Live & Barfly) 

“Baby You’re My Light” (Mov) – Richard Hawley (unfortunately its a really crappy low quality version of an absolute genius video)

“Coles Corner” (Youtube) – Richard Hawley (Warning contains Joe Mace!!)

Look: Pics from Camden Barfly 31/05/06