ALBUM REVIEW: Richard Hawley – Further (BMG)

Sheffield singer-songwriter Richard Hawley makes a welcome return with his eighth studio album, and his first since 2015’s Hollow Meadows.

He’s not been resting on his laurels: he’s written the songs and score for the comedy drama Funny Cow, starring Maxine Peake, and been involved in a musical based on a collection of his songs.

Making records is what he does best, however, even if Further marks something of a departure for the former Longpigs and Pulp guitarist.

Sheffield singer-songwriter Richard Hawley. Pic: Chris Saunders.

Aside from his self-titled debut solo effort, up to now he has named all his solo albums after Sheffield icons or landmarks.

So while its title is a departure from the norm, this album remains rooted in his love of 1960s rock ‘n’ roll and rockabilly, and it’s another collection of beautiful, timeless music, performed with his usual depth and soul.

His usual band, featuring co-producers Colin Elliot and Shez Sheridan, are on board, and they’ve made another sumptuous feast of an album.

Sheffield singer-songwriter Richard Hawley. Pic: Gary Welford.

The opening track and first single, Off My Mind, is something of a throwback to 2012’s Standing At The Sky’s Edge, all squalling guitars, with Hawley’s baritone voice edging towards a Mark Lanegan-like growl.

Other songs with a similar swagger include the glam stomp of Alone, the outlaw tale that is Galley Girl and the album’s centrepiece, the grungy Is There A Pill.

Don’t forget the ballads

But there’s trademark balladeering too, not least in the lovely Emilina Says, and the closing track, the reverie-steeped Doors.

The oldest song on the album and one of its best is My Little Treasures – a tune Hawley has taken 12 years to complete.

If you like good music, you should already have discovered Richard Hawley. If you don’t know that already, this is a very good place to start, and then work your way backwards. 8/10

Sheffield singer-songwriter Richard Hawley will be touring Further in the UK this October. Pic: Gary Welford.

RICHARD HAWLEY will play a 12-date UK tour this October to promote Further:

2nd    Bristol O2 Academy

3rd    Cardiff University Great Hall

4th    Norwich UEA

6th    Oxford O2 Academy

7th    Manchester Albert Hall

8th    Liverpool Guild Of Students

10th    Birmingham O2 Institute

11th    Sheffield Octagon

14th    Newcastle Northumbria Institute

15th    Glasgow Barrowland

17th    London Roundhouse

18th    Brighton Dome

Tickets on sale now. Visit http://www.richardhawley.co.uk/ for more info.

Gary Welford
gary.ipamusic@gmail.com
ipamusic.co.uk owner