Friday, 2 October 2009

Richard Hawley - Truelove's Gutter

Traditionally on rock/pop albums you get all the fast tracks first and then come track 5 you get a lull with a slower track, and then the pace is picked up again until track 9 and 10 when the pace can drop back down again. Richard Hawley's album tracks are usually the other way around, with a snail-paced ballad at the beginning ("Valentine" from "Lady's Bridge" and the title track from "Coles Corner", for example) and then a couple of fast/faster tracks appearing later on. Hawley doesn't do "fast" very often. His last album "Lady's Bridge", contained the most speedier tracks Richard ever released - "Serious", "Tonight The Streets Are Ours" and "I'm Looking For Someone To Find Me". It's all relative though, because after the first track on this album, "As The Dawn Breaks", anything else sounds speedy in comparison.

So in a way, "Truelove's Gutter" is a bit like all the more boring tracks I sometimes skip past on Hawley's previous albums because there isn't one track on here that will get you doing the twist. But really, they are not really boring at all, they are just not as immediate as say "Born Under a Bad Sign", "Just Like The Rain" or "Valentine". So it's a brave move on Hawley's part to release this album. He could have easily taken another route and made more radio friendly foot-tapping material and turn into a modern day Alvin Shardust, or perhaps a Shakin' Stevens. Perhaps not. Instead he has released eight tracks - some of epic proportions, of varying degrees of moodiness and texture which makes for a more than pleasant experience. One for listening to walking along the Thames on a cold winters day. That's one way I will be enjoying this album

Richard Hawley is a serious talent, a natural songwriter and a borderline geniue. In years to come his albums will be regarded as all time classics. Mark my words, people.

As a foot note, if you are a fan of the man you will no doubt have investigated last years release by old time crooner Tony Christie with the album "Made In Sheffield" that Hawley co-produced, if you haven't, then check it out because it's brilliant.

Richard comes to the Shepherds Bush Empire, London on Thursday next week. I will be attending and will be sure to mention it here.

Here are two clips. The audio to "Open Up Your Door" and the video to the current single "For Your Lover, Give Some Time".


  1. now that I've listened to it 4 or 5 times I have to say this is an absolutely beautiful record, quite possibly his best yet. Pity its not selling that well.

  2. indeed it's quite subtle, but a classic for sure. as for sales, well we could be here all day talking about that litte chestnut, Mr Sweeney.