Richard Hawley

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 05, 2019 12:05 pm 
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Hawleytastic!
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Location: Stoke-on-Trent
..and then a gig comes at you from out of left field and leaps straight into one of your best gigs of the year?

That.

Andrew Combs, supported by Kirby Brown was the first UK date of Andrew's current European visit - he'd been playing with Erin Rae in Scandinavia and three members of her band plus the immense (in stature and in playing ability) Charlie Whitten - filled out the numbers. Support Kirby Brown accompanied himself on guitar and keyboards and when you can include a cover of Guy Clark's "Dublin Blues" into your set and it doesn't get over-shadowed by your own material, well that's pretty good going. His set was rapturously received and fully deserved.
Follow that Mr Combs? Oh go on then...the church setting was perfect for the atmopsheric yet gritty delivery and beautifully melancholic songs on offer. No low points - all high points and three encores. Wow - this was one of those gigs where you go back to the recorded versions of the songs with new ears.
Kirby Brown
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Andrew Combs
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Last edited by efsb on Sun May 24, 2020 10:40 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 07, 2019 11:31 pm 
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Went over to Biddulph to photograph Richard Shindell - I'd never heard of him before we'd booked him, but he's done a tour with folkie superstars Show of Hands and has picked up a good fanbase as a result of that exposure. To these ears he sounded like what Michael Stipe would turn into if he played the folk circuit.
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 21, 2019 10:55 pm 
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Penultimate gig of the year - My Darling Clementine at St Lawrence's Church in Biddulph. I've followed Michael Weston King's career since his days in the Good Sons - once saw him in Stafford where me and tonight's promoter were the only two in attendance. The current incarnation is probably my favourite, drawing as it does on classic country and contains the fine melodies that MWK is known for. This show featured the Elvis Costello cover project that Lou and Michael have been working on and it was very efficiently delivered by a Brummie supergroup rhythm section that included Al Gare and a certain Mr Dean Beresford. An excellent night with a free bar too as a thank you to the regular punters who support Biddulph Up In Arms. Not sure if it was Dean or Al who was driving...
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One gig to play on Sunday and then Average Joe at the Sugarmill on Monday - that will make a total of 281 acts I've seen in 2019 across six countries. 2020 doesn't kick in until later in January when I'm MC-ing a Cajun and Zydeco festival in Gloucester, then it starts to get busy.

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 24, 2019 11:50 am 
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Hawleytastic!
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Last gig of the year (Unless I find one in the next week) was former pupil of mine, Average Joe - at the Sugarmill in Stoke. The poor lad has had a genuinely tragic year for his family and deserves a much better 2020 - not just as some kind of karmic balance, but because his group are bloody good.
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Final score for 2019 = 281 acts seen!

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 31, 2020 2:46 pm 
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Bit of a slow start to 2020 with no gigs for the first three weeks, but then I made up for it by attending the Gloucester Cajun and Zydeco Festival - where I was the MC and also got to take part in the end of festival jam. Lots of good music, good food and good company.
Carol Wilson of Acadian Strings:
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Cheryl McIlroy of Rough Chowder
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Festival finale - one advantage of being the MC was access to shots like this! (It was the end of proceedings too and I'd just been playing and singing some Beau Jocque...)
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Then it was straight off stage, drive home, six hours' kip then catch the (cheap) slow train to London where I attended the Americana Music Association UK Showcase Festival in Hackney - met even more lovely people and saw lots of excellent music. First night was a charity fundraiser at Oslo in Hackney - "Americana Clash" where a house band was joined by the likes of Kyshona, Peter Bruntnell, Terra Lightfoot, Danny Champ, Irish Mythen, Grace Petrie, Austin Lucas - and Frank Turner - for an evening of Clash songs.
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Elsewhere, I enjoyed sets by Austin Lucas:
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Amy LaVere (who I last saw in 100 degree heat playing under a gazebo at Drifter's Bar in east Nashville. Bit cooler in Hackney:
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Michaela Anne
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Mapache were a new name to me - duo west coast harmonies and some songs in Spanish - sublime:
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Sam Baker isn't my normal cup of tea, but his Tom Waits-esque story-telling silenced the Empire Bar:
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Good to see Chatham County Line for the first time in around 10 years - last met up with them when my band played Kilkenny Roots and they asked us about the Jools Holland show they were appearing on - they'd never heard of him!
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Liking the current Amy Speace album and it was nice to hear her and see her backed by Kyshona and Ali Sperry. We've got Amy booked in Biddulph on the 12th February so it was good to get a taster:
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Next up I'm playing a gig on 1st Feb for Independent Venues Week at Pilgrim's Pit in Hanley, then it's up to Bury Met for RH night two.

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Last edited by efsb on Fri Jun 05, 2020 10:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 03, 2020 12:58 pm 
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Bury Met - a quiet, but definitely a listening crowd. I got jostled by a lovely little 80 year old lady who was determined to get to the barrier - and she did!
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Full set HERE

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PostPosted: Thu May 28, 2020 10:00 pm 
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Hawleytastic!
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Location: Stoke-on-Trent
Managed to squeeze in a few good ones before the world turned upside down. Amy Speace at Biddulph Town Hall was a masterclass demonstration of how to do singer-songwriting.
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Had an excellent night in Manchester watching Emily Capell. In the days of TOTP and the Tube, she would be a star - nowadays it's harder to get spotted through the forest of social media and streaming. She still might be - joyous, witty ska-pop with brilliant lyrics. She oozes charisma too.
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Then it was a trip to the Big Comfy Bookshop in Coventry - a second hand bookshop with a small cafe that holds about 30-40 to see Cork's finest, John Connor, who performs under the name of John Blek. Creamy melancholic vocals, great irish tales and wit and lovely finger-picking. We've booked him in Biddulph for next February, all being well.
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Then it was Biddulph Town hall for UK Americana act - and now local lad - Robbie Cavanagh,who put in a polished band performance. RH connection - Robbie's bass player, Thomas Dibb plays in Chorlton Country Club with Mr Clive Mellor. It's a small musical world.
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Last one I squeezed in was Ags Connolly at the Royal Oak in Eccleshall - hard core honky tonk from Oxfordshire. Little did I know that when I did an elbow bump greeting with Ags on the merch desk that he would be the last human being that I've had any physical contact with this since then...and counting...
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..and that was it for the time being. Got a refund for my hotel for the Static Roots Festival in Germany, Red Rooster was moved (although if it happens in September I'll be surprised...) and a bunch of others got pulled and moved. Have pre-booked for the Long Road Festival in 2021 as two of my favourites, Lilly Hiatt and Whitney Rose are both playing. Both released fantastic albums at the worst possible time, but hopefully they'll get their due credit and exposure in time. In January I booked my flight and ticket for Americanafest in Nashville in September - but then a tornado ripped up East Nashville and flattened the legendary Basement East and tore the roof off our Nashville local the 3 Crow Bar. According to folks I know in the area it's going to still be a disaster zone for a while so I'm looking at a financial hit on that one, unless the flight is pulled by the airline. Fingers crossed.

Sadly. I won't be seeing the twice rescheduled John Prine gig in Manchester. Will have to get that ticket framed though.

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 07, 2020 4:19 pm 
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Location: Cheshire
Well this falls under todays tunes and also in some respects a most recent gig...sort of.

A replay /review of the laying down of Neil McSweeney's 2017 album A Coat Worth Wearing...other sessions are available on the Hudson Records Listening Club https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4sXHZ6Gpq4U including one by Richard's neighbour Martin Simpson.

Neil has opened for Richard on various occasions over the years - most recently [I think] was a night at the Devil's Arse a couple/few years ago.



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