REVIEW: Richard Hawley, Sheffield City Hall

Richard Hawley performing at Sheffield City Hall
Richard Hawley performing at Sheffield City Hall
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ANOTHER standing ovation at a packed City Hall.

You’d think Richard Hawley would be getting used to all that adoration by now.

A couple of weeks ago he was with the BBC philharmonic at Magna, this week it was Sheffield’s classiest venue packed to the rafters, all three floors rocking.

He’s a star now and he played like one.

Layer upon layer of echoing guitars and keyboard, the sound polished and gleaming like Cadillac paintwork and all topped with that Guinness and Marlboro voice.

The haunting - they’re all haunting - Open Up Your Door, The Streets Are Ours and The Ocean are just brilliant songs and there’s not one bad one in the bunch.

The show is brilliantly lit, the view of the guitar collection in constant rotation is worth the ticket money alone, then serious guitar legend Martin Simpson pops on stage for one delicious number.

Once early on and again at the end a flash of a Hawley smile and his longing look around the ecstatic audience told the tale of the night.

As he earlier explained in one of his witty Sheffield asides between songs where he swore never to change, all this means a lot to Richard Hawley.

Another full house - tickets were sold out in 15 minutes - opposite where he used to busk outside Cole Brothers may be a tale told one too many times, but there is still a disbelief and astonishment at where he now finds himself that is touching and genuine.

Richard Hawley loves Sheffield and on this showing, Sheffield loves him right back. And he’s back in the Oval Hall a week today.