Richard Hawley, The Arena
Sheffield gave a very warm welcome on a cold November evening to one of their own at the Arena. The venue might have been chilly, but the atmosphere was certainly not.
Kicking off the set with latest single Which Way, he switches effortlessly between psychedelic high-powered guitar riffs and sedate ballads, crooning like a particularly heartbroken Elvis.
Hawley has the audience in the palm of his hand. These fans don’t need winning over, but if they did his dry humour and awful joke about Manchester, where he had recently played a gig, and Las Vegas being the only place you can buy sex with a bag of chips certainly would.
Telling the audience to shut up and listen to Tuesday PM, from new album Hollow Meadows, he describes it as the quietest song I’ve ever written.
“This will really bring you down. It is miserable,” he informs the crowd.
And shut up we do, but it has entirely the opposite affect.
Tonight These Streets Are Ours and Heart of Oak create a screaming, stomping enthusiastic demand for an encore and Hawley happily obliges with Coles Corner and The Ocean.
It is a very satisfied group of people who sweep back out on to the very streets Hawley’s songs are about.