Haw­ley within tent to

Lo­cal boy Richard Haw­ley will be head­lin­ing at Sh­effield’s Un­der the Big Top Fes­ti­val next month. James Nut­tall caught up with him. FROM BRIT­POP TO SOLO AC­CLAIM

Yorkshire Post - Culture & The Guide - - MUSIC -

SH­EFFIELD’S Un­der the Big Top Fes­ti­val will see some home-grown tal­ent head­lin­ing this year. Af­ter the Lev­ellers pro­vide Fri­day night’s en­ter­tain­ment, Satur­day will see gui­tar hero Richard Haw­ley take the stage for a one-off per­for­mance in his home town.

For­merly a mem­ber of Brit­pop band Long­pigs, the 46-year-old singer/song­writer has also been a tour­ing mem­ber of Pulp. He struck out on his own in 2001, and has since re­leased seven crit­i­cally ac­claimed stu­dio al­bums, which marry the vo­cal style of Jim Reeves’s mel­low and soul­ful bal­lads with a harder mod­ern edge.

Open Up Your Door, from Tru­elove’s Gut­ter, has been fea­tured on sev­eral tele­vi­sion ad­verts to add a clas­sic feel and the 2009 al­bum was also the win­ner of Mojo’s Record of the Year.

As a ses­sion player, Haw­ley has worked with the likes of Lisa Marie Pres­ley, Nancy Si­na­tra and Arc­tic Mon­keys and his lat­est al­bum, Stand­ing at the Sky’s Edge, was re­leased last year to huge crit­i­cal ac­claim. Peak­ing at num­ber three on the UK charts, it was short­listed for the Mer­cury Mu­sic Prize and also re­ceived a BRIT Award nom­i­na­tion.

A sig­nif­i­cant de­par­ture from his ear­lier re­leases, the al­bum re­ally show­cases Haw­ley’s abil­ity as a gui­tarist and is much more raw in sound.

“It was ob­vi­ous to me that it was time to shake away from those moor­ings, it was get­ting too com­fort­able. I wanted

Gui­tarist, singer­song­writer and pro­ducer, Richard Haw­ley was born in Sh­effield in 1967.

Af­ter his first band Tree­bound Story (formed while he was still at school) broke up, Haw­ley found suc­cess as a mem­ber of Brit­pop band Long­pigs in the 1990s.

When the group broke up in 2000, he later joined the band Pulp, led by his friend Jarvis Cocker, for a short time.

As a solo mu­si­cian, Haw­ley has re­leased seven stu­dio al­bums, the most re­cent be­ing the hugely ac­claimed Stand­ing at the Sky’s Edge. to just see if a gui­tar could han­dle the same dy­namic as an orches­tra, which I think it can,” he says.

De­spite all his achieve­ments, Haw­ley is ex­tremely mod­est and al­most in­dif­fer­ent to his suc­cess. We are speak­ing in his lo­cal pub in Sh­effield. He has his two dogs with him and aside from the slicked back hair and dark red-tinted glasses, he looks like just an­other reg­u­lar en­joy­ing a late af­ter­noon pint.

Some of the songs on Stand­ing at the Sky’s Edge are more po­lit­i­cally charged than Haw­ley’s pre­vi­ous work. He says that this is a re­sult of the events sur­round­ing the record­ing of the al­bum.

“When I started record­ing, the Tory govern­ment got in. You have to have a heart of stone to not re­act to some of the things they were do­ing im­me­di­ately.

“One of the first things they wanted to do was sell the wood­land off, and that was some­thing that ap­palled me. Hav­ing lived through this be­fore with Mar­garet Thatcher, I knew what was com­ing. I guess the ti­tle song was a warn­ing.

“The three verses are all sto­ries about peo­ple I knew back then, and that could be now. It was a kind of ral­ly­ing cry, re­ally, that it’s time all good peo­ple get to­gether and stand their ground.” Haw­ley com­pleted a UK tour in Fe­bru­ary and says with a lit­tle sense of re­lief that the new ma­te­rial went down just as well as his ear­lier works.

“It was awe­some to play on this tour, I re­ally en­joyed the whole thing. The reaction from crowds equalled the

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