MAN ON THE EDGE
He’s worked with some of the biggest names in British music; yet, seven albums into a stunning solo career, and on a major label for the first time, Richard Hawley refuses to play the mainstream game. Jason Draper heads off course with a self-confessed â€œsalmon swimming upstreamâ€
I don’t like walking through my life backwards.” Richard Hawley says this twice during our interview. It’s at odds with his seemingly limitless capacity for recalling bygone days – particularly the inspirational past of his Sheffield hometown. And then there’s his own rich history: with a career into its third decade, Hawley spent a chunk of the 90s in Britpop sideliners Longpigs; has been an on-off member of Pulp; remains a guitarist for hire to everyone from All Saints to Paul Weller. And then there are his seven solo albums.
But he remains intent on looking ahead. Able to conjure melodies at will, Hawley could simply re-record a sequel to Coles Corner (the lushly-orchestrated, Mercury-nominated 2005 album that brought his name to a wider audience), sit back and reap the rewards. As new album Standing At The Sky’s Edge shows, he’s more intent on pushing his sound forward. “It’s heavier than the last records,” he acknowledges. “It’s got a lot of the same drama as things I’ve done before, but I wanted to force it through a narrower channel and see what would happen.” Fittingly, for an album full of stories that could lend themselves to a cinematic treatment, he found that the results “ended up being more widescreen”.
The death of Hawley’s …
by Jason Draper
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