SHEFFIELD, the steel city, punches its weight when it comes to producing rock stars having contributed some or all of the members of a vast array of bands from metallers Iron Maiden and Def Leppard through to innovative popsters The Human League and ABC to the Britrock supergroup of Pulp and Arctic Monkeys.
But one of its most accomplished sons has received more in the way of critical acclaim than commercial success.
Richard Hawley, memorably described as the Roy Orbison of The Don, has produced a string of excellent albums and has earned a reputation as one of Britain’s greatest singer-songwriters.
His vocals are as deep and warm as a castle fireplace i and his songs are epic and poign- ant.
On his new album he has changed tack a little and on the opening track She Brings The Sunlight he seems to have located his inner rock god.
But that seems positively restrained compared to the stomping Down In The Woods.
Throughout the album is peppered with searing psychedelic guitars and Hawley himself explains: “I wanted to get away from the orchestration of my previous records and make a live album with two guitars, bass, drums and rocket noises!’’
There are still some classic Hawley songs to bask in – the tough and tender love song Seek It and the wonderful tale of family life Don’t Stare At The Sun.
Admirers of Hawley won’t be surprised to learn that once more he has conjured up another wonderful album.