Richard Hawley pays tribute to Sheffield roots with gig at Magna

Richard Hawley
Richard Hawley
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SHEFFIELD Singer-songwriter Richard Hawley expects an emotional night when he performs with the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra at a former South Yorkshire steelworks.

The one-off collaboration takes place at Magna Science Adventure Centre, once the Templeborough works, on Saturday.

The musician admits that ‘never in his wildest dreams’ did he imagine he would perform with the 90-strong orchestra - and a personal connection to the steel industry promises to make the occasion even more powerful.

Richard’s father Dave, who died in 2007, was a steelworker by day and played guitars in bars and clubs at night.

He spent a year working at Templeborough itself.

Richard said: “I’m really happy the concert will be at Magna as my dad and my uncles worked in places like Magna for a quarter of a century and that will add considerably to the emotional impact of the event for me.”

The event is part of BBC Philharmonic Presents, a festival of free concerts and it will also be broadcast live on BBC Radio 6 Music, at 7pm. Half of public tickets for the event have been reserved for local people.

Richard, who will be joined by his own band, will perform a personal selection of his songs specially orchestrated by composer and conductor Joe Duddell, who has worked with Nero and Elbow.

He said: “It’s such an honour to be asked to play with the BBC Philharmonic. It’s not something in my wildest dreams that I ever thought I would ever get the chance to do.

“It’s not every day a bloke like me gets the chance to play with the calibre of musicians that are in the orchestra and I and the band will enjoy every second.”

Magna’s corporate sales director Helen Davies said: “Like many local people, Richard Hawley treasures the area’s proud steel heritage and it’s something that we are working hard to preserve here at Magna.”