Richard Hawley at the Cambridge Corn Exchange

A couple of nights ago I was treated to the fantastic Richard Hawley live in Cambridge. The husband and I saw him at the Roundhouse a few years ago and once again he didn't disappoint.

We're a little biased perhaps as his music, Coles Corner in particular, provided the soundtrack to our early relationship, in honour of that The Ocean was the first dance at our wedding. I think it is possibly one of the most beautiful songs ever written, I appreciate it is a bold statement to make but I honestly don't think I'm wrong.

Not only does Richard Hawley have a uniquely rich voice with a luxurious sound he writes stunning songs that strike a chord with their listeners. His music transports the listener away from the daily grind with it's all consuming sound. Don't mistake this with light easy listening music, the lyrics are tough, questioning and not all rosy. Sheffield, his home town provides much of the backdrop to his work as well as his battle with prescription drug addiction. His work comes from the core of his being, influenced by his folk loving parents he says himself 'If you become more famous than your songs, you’re fucked – do you know what I mean? It’s your songs, your output, that’s the most important thing. I find it a great honour when people say, ‘We had our first dance at our wedding to that’ or ‘We buried my mum to that.’ Although there was a lady who told me – which I found darkly funny – that she had her baby in a birthing pool to The Ocean.'

He cuts a imposing figure on stage whilst retaining his humility too relating well to his audience. Approachable he is the kind of guy that I'm sure wouldn't run at the first sight of a fan approaching him. My guess is he'd probably buy them a pint and spend the rest of the evening chatting with them. He is his own artist doing his own thing and very successfully at that. 

He played a mixture of songs from his previous albums but the finale an outstanding version of one of his most well known songs 'The Ocean' was an brought tears to the eyes of most of the audience. The show also demonstrated his musicianship, an accomplished musician not just a producer's creation he and his band really do know their stuff. Such a privilege to once again listen to this great man's work. Thank you Richard for a totally brilliant evening and for giving us yet more wonderful songs.

You can get his new album Hollow Meadows here.

Photo taken from BBC