Rock home­town

Yorkshire Post - Culture & The Guide - - MUSIC -

mu­sic. At the end, we of­ten get a stand­ing ova­tion, which is some­thing amaz­ing. How­ever, this time we’d get that af­ter a first song,” he laughs. “I’ve been play­ing live since I was 12. It still ex­cites me.”

While the bulk of his tour­ing is com­plete, Richard has not yet started think­ing about his next al­bum.

“I’ve got loads of songs, but I’ve only just fin­ished tour­ing and I don’t want to re­ally think about that for a while. When you’ve been do­ing some­thing for a long time it’s very im­por­tant to know when to take your foot off the gas and just live your life.

“I’m not even in the car, let alone [tak­ing my] foot off the gas. I’m en­joy­ing walk­ing and ex­plor­ing – I do it all year round. There’s no such thing as bad weather, kid, just wrong clothes!”

When not on tour, Haw­ley finds en­joy­ment through more peace­ful pas­times.

“I walk the dogs; I’ve gone miles with th­ese two,” he be­gins, nod­ding to his two dogs ly­ing faith­fully be­side him.

“I don’t re­ally have hob­bies. I’m too con­scious of the fact that I’d be hav­ing a hobby. I guess my life’s my hobby, I like tin­ker­ing around with gui­tars and be­ing creative.”

Ev­i­dence of Haw­ley’s love of play­ing was per­haps best rep­re­sented when he played a tour in 2012 in a wheel­chair when he broke his leg slip­ping down steps in Barcelona.

“We had got months of tour­ing booked ahead of us, and that was the be­gin­ning of the whole al­bum,” he says. “We’d waited two years to go out on the road and I re­ally love my time with the mu­si­cians and all our road crew. We have a lot of love and re­spect for each other.”

Wak­ing up in hos­pi­tal a few hours be­fore he was due to be on stage, Haw­ley’s pro­fes­sion­al­ism never wa­vered.

“I said ‘get me a wheel­chair and a drum stool and I’ll do the gig – I’ll just try my best to do it.’ I just didn’t want to let any­one down. Lit­er­ally, I’d have to have a sev­ered head to can­cel a con­cert.”

While Haw­ley has changed lit­tle since he first started out in mu­sic, one thing is no­tice­ably dif­fer­ent – he re­cently quit smok­ing to save his voice.

“I’ve not had a cig­a­rette since Jan­uary 2, be­cause I wanted to keep go­ing,” he ad­mits. “I’m not in­ter­ested in any­thing else – it’s just the mu­sic. That’s all I re­ally care about.”

The Un­der the Big Top Fes­ti­val, Sh­effield, July 12 and 13. Richard Haw­ley will be ap­pear­ing at Graves Park on the fi­nal evening.

For a full pro­gramme of bands or to book tick­ets call the box of­fice on 0114 234 9979 or on­line at www. un­der­the­big­top.co.uk

Singer-song­writer Tom Odell has been writ­ing songs from the age of 13, and such ded­i­ca­tion was justly rewarded when the 22-year-old re­leased his de­but EP in 2012 and was crowned the Brits Crit­ics Choice award for 2013. His first al­bum Long Way Down is an in­ven­tive and emo­tive col­lec­tion of songs with a dis­tinc­tive theme of love and loss. Hold Me has a very Bowie-es­que feel, Sense pro­vides a strong re­minder of Jeff Buck­ley, all with Cold­play-style pi­ano lines run­ning through each song. De­spite NME’s slat­ing re­view, this is a good al­bum, prov­ing the hype be­hind Odell is cer­tainly jus­ti­fied.

In 2009, Edi­tors lived up to their name and made some changes. The Birm­ing­ham­based five-piece, mi­nus lead gui­tarist and synth player Chris Ur­banow­icz, show­cased a new di­rec­tion, with In This Light And On This Evening opt­ing for a more elec­tronic, synth-laden sound. How­ever, their fourth re­lease The Weight Of Love re­verts back to al­bums one and two, with a heav­ier em­pha­sis on the moody in­die rock they had be­come known for. This is typ­i­fied on open­ing pair The Weight and Sugar. Formalde­hyde is a bit Joy Di­vi­sion, lead sin­gle A Ton Of Love has a real U2 feel while Hon­esty is an or­ches­tral epic and the def­i­nite high­light on an­other strong al­bum.

Three years af­ter their un­der­rated de­but Wolves And Thieves, Gold­heart Assem­bly are back with the fol­lowup. The song­writ­ing’s more ma­ture and the pro­duc­tion has a time­less, clas­sic qual­ity. Billy In The Low­ground opens the al­bum – a bit­ter slap-down to a for­mer friend yet – and is lav­ishly ar­ranged and won­der­fully put to­gether. Tran­sit, Stephanie And The Fer­ris Wheel and Sad Sad Stage show­case more of the heav­enly har­monies that pro­vided the back­bone of their de­but, while The Id­iot and Into Des­per­ate Arms are blessed with an in­fec­tious pulse.

IN GOOD VOICE: Richard Haw­ley has given up smok­ing in or­der to save his voice. “I’m not in­ter­ested in any­thing else – it’s just the mu­sic.”

PIC­TURE: GLENN ASH­LEY

STEEL CITY BOY: Richard Haw­ley per­form­ing at Sh­effield City Hall.

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