NEWS: Richard Hawley @ Sage Gateshead | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Richard Hawley – self-proclaimed “Caractacus Potts of rock ’n’ roll” and one of the nicest (and most potty-mouthed) people in the business – makes a welcome return to Sage Gateshead on Tuesday 3rd November, promoting his lovely eighth album Hollow Meadows (his penchant for naming his albums after hometown landmarks continues unabashed). The album steps back from the rockier sound of 2012’s Standing At The Sky’s Edge, and is perhaps less ambitious and expansive than that album’s astonishing predecessor Truelove’s Gutter, being tighter and more song-based.

His unmistakable rich, baritone croon – equal parts Roy Orbison, Elvis and Matt Monro – is to the fore. Nonetheless, whilst his accident prone recent years may have mellowed him, there’s nothing middle of the road about what Hawley does – whilst his songs might sound soothing, Hawley is insightful, political and often angry, and many numbers are an iron fist in a velvet glove. He’s always great value live too: utterly engaging during the songs but down to earth, witty and self-deprecating between them, and not averse to playful – or when confronted by incessant audience chatter, not so playful – abuse of his own fan base. Support comes from former Racehorses frontman Meilyr Jones, who sounds intriguing and perhaps a little challenging for some of the Hawley crowd too, promising something decidedly off-kilter and experimental.

Richard Hawley plays Sage Gateshead on Tuesday 3rd November.

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