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Issue 91 - The Distillery's muse

Whisky Magazine Issue 91
October 2010

 

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The Distillery's muse

Richard Hawley is a singer-songwriter who has carved a name for himself as a solo artist. Neil J. Ridley caught up with the Sheffield - based

The old adage that ‘all good things come to those who wait' isn't one you'd normally apply to today's fast-paced and often ruthless music business.

But for Richard Hawley taking his time has been a virtue when he looks back over the many highs of a hugely varied music career.

Since picking up the guitar at the age of six, Hawley's musical pathways have seen him shift through successful stints in 90s Brit Pop darlings The Longpigs, as well as whimsical Sheffield songsmiths, Pulp. Now at the age of 43 and into the release of his sixth solo album, Truelove's Gutter, the star's feel truly aligned for the man, once described by legendary crooner Scott Walker as ‘one of the all-time greats'. So did he ever envisage becoming this successful?

“Not at all” explains Richard. “I kind of started off doing the solo records to appease a lot of people, who used to nag me about my songs, mostly Jarvis (Cocker, lead singer of Pulp) and my dad, who used to say ‘you should really do something with these tracks.' “Whilst I was playing with bands I was writing songs for myself, not really for anything specific but I'd been building up a body of work since I was about 14 and when I recorded the first batch of them I managed to get a solo record deal” But I imagine that working with a variety of artists as a songwriter and session guitarist (from Robbie Williams and All Saints to Elbow and the great Nancy Sinatra) has presented a number of creative challenges- has that helped sha...

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