Monday, 12 October 2009
Richard Hawley - Shepherds Bush Empire, London 8/10/09
Sometimes I wonder why I bother going to certain gigs. You know the ones where you just stand there staring at the back of someones head and then people keep pushing past, and then they come back and push past again. The man next you has decided to keep his rucksack attached to his back during the show and keeps slamming it into you. The people behind you keep talking during the quiet bits and you wish they would sod off and go home. And you think to yourself, that you paid 18 pounds for this and you should be enjoying it, but you are trying to, but only as far as enjoying the muffled audio "pumping" out of the nearest speakers that are 50 yards way. For the record I am not that short, it's just that most of Richard Hawley's fans seem to be over 6 feet tall and with high hair.
Of course this is no reflection of the music on the night. Richard Hawley is an engaging, warm and witty performer and this is the third time that I have seen him in concert. He played a blinding set, comprising mostly of tracks from his new album "Truelove's Gutter" and a small sprinkling of tracks from earlier works including "The Ocean", "Hotel Room" (from "Coles Corner"), "Lady Solitude" (from "Lady's Bridge") and "Run for Me" (from "Lowedges"). Amazingly there were no room from the likes of "Tonight the Streets Are Ours", "Serious", "Valentine", "Coles Corner", "Just Like the Rain" or "Born Under a Bad Sign". So Mr. Hawley must have some serious faith in his newer material and so he should have. The highlight for me was "For Your Lover, Give Some Time", the current single.
As I mentioned before in a previous review, "Truelove's Gutter" is a great body of work, but most of the content is "armchair business", so after 90 minutes or so of this gig (it stretched to two hours) I noticed a lot of clock watching going on and lots of bored partners of the female variety, harassing their other halves's to make a hasty exit.
For the encore a surprise guest Lisa Marie Presley was introduced on stage. It turns out that Elvis' offspring and the late Jacko's ex-wife has been working with Hawley on some tracks. It enjoyable enough stuff all round, but of course I saw more of my friend's earlobe than of Ms Presley.
Above is a picture that I managed to take from the bar during the brief few minutes that I managed to see anything on stage. It's not a great photo, but it's better than nothing.
Below is a clip from youtube of "Soldier On" from the gig.