Following the success of his hugely acclaimed 2012 Top Three U.K. album, Standing At The Sky’s Edge, Richard Hawley, one of the U.K.’s greatest songwriters, will release his eighth studio album, HOLLOW MEADOWS on September 11, 2015, via Warner Bros. Records in the US and Parlophone Records in the U.K.

Recorded at Sheffield’s Yellow Arch Studio in spring 2015, HOLLOW MEADOWS sees Hawley return to the classic, sophisticated songwriting and subtle arrangements that made him so widely loved and revered in the first place. Meditating on such themes as ageing, fallibility and relationships, much of the album shares a brooding, yet wistful and romantic atmosphere in keeping with early albums Late Night Final and Lowedges, as well as touches of 2009’s Truelove’s Gutter and “Standing At The Sky’s Edge”.

For the first time ever, Hawley demoed the songs in his shed studio with his long-time guitarist and confidant, Shez Sheridan (who also co-produced the album with Hawley and Colin Elliot). This allowed him to enter the studio with fully realised songs, and many of those original demos were so strong, they form part of the finished album, including the vocal to the sublime opening track, “I Still Want You” – Hawley at his most vulnerable and romantic, with one of those choruses that only Hawley seems capable of writing, like a ballroom spotlight on a glitterball.

In the world of HOLLOW MEADOWS, everything seems to feed into Hawley’s uniquely earthy strain of mysticism. All roads seem to lead back to the same place – literally in the case of the album’s title. In keeping with the tradition of previous albums, which all allude to places in and around Sheffield, Hawley alighted on the name Hollow Meadows which was thought to be the location of a hospital that existed as recently as the 1950s. In fact, further research yielded that the area was originally known as Auley Meadows – a name thought to derive from the Hawley family who lived there between the 13th and 17th Century.

The album features some notable guests from the UK folk scene; Hawley’s neighbour and friend Martin Simpson, who plays slide guitar and banjo on “Long Time Down”, and Nancy Kerr, who plays fiddle and viola on “The World Looks Down,” “I Still Want You,” and “Nothing Like A Friend.” There is also a song inspired in part by Hawley’s friendship with the iconic folk singer Norma Waterson (“Heart Of Oak”). Other guests include one of Hawley’s oldest and dearest friends, Jarvis Cocker who plays Rheem Kee super bass on “Nothing Like A Friend,” and the Hick Street Chip Shop Singers, who are made up of various Sheffield luminaires, including Slow Club’s Rebecca Taylor.

HOLLOW MEADOWS is an album full of exceptional songwriting, beautiful melodies and harmonies, and some of the finest lyrics and vocals Hawley as ever written and recorded. It will further cement his reputation as one of Britain’s greatest songwriters of the past 15 years.

HOLLOW MEADOWS Track listing:

1. I Still Want You
2. The World Looks Down
3. Which Way
4. Serenade Of Blue
5. Long Time Down
6. Nothing Like A Friend
7. Sometimes I Feel
8. Tuesday PM
9. Welcome The Sun
10. Heart Of Oak
11. What Love Means

The album will be available on CD, digital download and gatefold double vinyl.

For more information, please go to:

Richard Hawley Official Website

Manic Street Preachers to release album ‘Rewind The Film’; ft. Richard Hawley, Lucy Rose, Cate Le Bon [Video]

Manic Street Preachers
Manic Street Preachers return this Autumn with their first studio album since 2010.

Manic Street Preachers


Manic Street Preachers return this Autumn with their first studio album since 2010.

‘Rewind The Film’ is released on 16th September 2013 for Columbia Records and is preceded with a single “Show Me The Wonder” the week before.

A taster for the album is revealed online today (8th July) with the title track featuring Richard Hawley being made available for instant download with an album pre-order on iTunes.

The album is released almost three years to the day since ‘Postcards From A Young Man’ and sees the band with a more reflective, stripped-back sound whilst maintaining the classic Manics melody and unique lyricism.

The band have also announced their first UK headlining shows since the incredible 38 single show at the O2 Arena in London in December 2011 which celebrated the release of ‘National Treasures’ (singles collection).

The two first songs available show the different sides of the album, with “Rewind The Film” being a brooding, cinematic 6.30 mins track, atmospheric and climactic with Richard Hawley and James Dean Bradfield trading vocals.

Hawley commented, “I am so chuffed to have been asked to sing with the mighty Manics, can’t tell you what it means to me. The whole experience is something I’ll treasure forever – I love the Manics and what they stand for and to be a tiny part of that means the world to me.”

Manic Street Preachers – Rewind The Film video:

“Show Me The Wonder” is an upbeat, positive pop song but with questioning lyrics. Soaring horns and a joyous chorus makes it a stand out track on what is otherwise a delicate record.

Recorded in their own studio Faster in Cardiff, Rockfield in Monmouthshire and Hansa in Berlin (the first time the band have recorded there), ‘Rewind The Film’ features 12 tracks of classic musicianship and lyrical themes which include the rock ‘n’ roll dream, Thatcherism and inspiration from subjects as varied as Manorbier Castle, Skids/Big Country’s late singer/guitarist Stuart Adamson, ‘Werner Herzog’s ‘Burden of Dreams’ and Welsh poet RS Thomas. The Manics describe it as “(If) this record has a relation in the Manics back catalogue, it’s probably the sedate coming of age that was ‘This Is My Truth Tell Me Yours’.”

Following in the tradition of inspired collaborations (Nina Persson from The Cardigans on ‘Your Love Alone’ / Ian McCulloch ‘Some Kind of Nothingness’ amongst others) opening track “This Sullen Welsh Heart” features Lucy Rose and “4 Lonely Roads” has lead vocals from Cate Le Bon – as well as of course the title track with Richard Hawley.

The band have just returned from a trip to Australia and New Zealand where they played several shows to tie in with the British and Irish Lions rugby tour. The band will headline the Festival Number 6 in Portmeirion, Wales in September and then head out for a short intimate UK tour with support from Public Service Broadcasting.

‘Rewind the Film’ is the group’s eleventh studio album for the label, making them the longest signed artists to Columbia having joined them in 1991 and released their debut album ‘Generation Terrorists’ the following year.

Rewind The Film tracklisting:

This Sullen Welsh Heart
Show Me The Wonder
Rewind The Film
Builder of Routines
4 Lonely Roads
(I Miss The) Tokyo Skyline
Anthem For A Lost Cause
As Holy As The Soil (That Buries Your Skin)
3 Ways To See Despair
Running Out Of Fantasy
30 Year War

Manic Street Preachers September 2013 tour dates:

(Dates and information subject to change.)

13 September NEWPORT, Centre
20 September DUBLIN, Olympia
23 September BRISTOL, Colston Hall
24 September LONDON, Shepherds Bush Empire
27 September MANCHESTER, Ritz
29 September GLASGOW, Barrowland
Tickets go on sale on Friday 12th July 2013 at 9.30pm.

For the latest tour dates and information, please go to:

Manic Street Preachers Official Website

Richard Hawley and Guests at the Oxford New Theatre, 5 February – review

I have long been an admirer of Richard Hawley’s and am really pleased that he is finally receiving the recognition he deserves, having previously served on guitar duty with indie underachievers The Longpigs and the wonderful Pulp. His recent albums ‘Coles Corner’ and ‘Lady’s Bridge’ set the bar extremely high for the support act, who managed to pull off preceding such a talent with aplomb.

Support came in the form of Vincent Vincent and the Villains, who were great fun. A London-based four piece who sound like Franz Ferdinand doing the flamenco, they opened with a growler of a track called “Beast”, which was propelled by a heavy bass line and a thudding, insistent drum beat.

Singer Vincent Vincent was extremely charismatic and really won the crowd over, encouraging people to join in with the band for single “On My Own”, providing handclaps alongside drummer Alex Cox’s pulsing beats. This was the most well-known track amongst the audience and its ska-infused rockiness was well received.

New tracks including the next single “Pretty Girl” also met with a positive response and it’s easy to see why. The band are extremely professional, slick musicians who look and play the part. They engaged in lots of tongue-in-cheek rock posturing with their (very spangly) guitars and lead singer Vincent was dressed in what appeared to be a matador’s jacket. Their fifties rock-with-a-twist would be perfectly suited to a Tarentino score and certainly set the mood for Richard Hawley and his band’s cinematic sound. I look forward to hearing their debut album ‘Gospel Bombs’, set for release on 25 February, 2008.

Now for the star attraction … Hawley’s adoption by Radio 2 DJs, 2006 Mercury Prize nomination and 2008 Brit nomination have seen him embraced by a diverse audience stretching far beyond former indie kids like myself. The audience at the New Theatre in Oxford served to prove this, comprised of a huge cross section of people from teenagers all the way up to OAPs! Many a senior citizen seems to like Richard Hawley because he reminds them of Roy Orbison, and as Hawley strode on stage in an immaculately cut silver lounge suit and brylcreemed quiff, he typified a fifties music idol.

The faded opulence of the New Theatre was a fitting venue for his music, especially given that the audience was seated as in ‘the old days’ – I felt transported back in time to a world of stockings, skiffle and the birth of rock and roll. The spinning glitterball atop the stage reinforced this illusion, setting the scene for a memorable night.

Hawley’s lovelorn and wistful songs recall old time courtships backed by landscapes of sweeping strings and Shadows-style guitars. For the tour, the strings were replaced with keyboards and a laptop but there was no discernible difference between the sound on the albums and that generated by the keyboardist. The performance Hawley and his band gave was faultless: tight, assured and full of obvious love for their craft. Plus, the former string player in me always delights in seeing double basses used live: the rockabilly number “Serious” was darn good fun.

Richard Hawley’s seemingly effortless crooning is both seductive and tear-jerking, and he and his band were magnificent. They perfected a sound which matched that on the albums, but without seeming clinical or lacking in passion. The sparkling and hook-laden “Tonight The Streets are Ours” was the exception to this in that it actually seemed to transcend the quality of the original – no mean feat! Accompanied by piano and his band, Hawley gave a spirited performance of the track and never have the lyrics, which afford the working classes a grace and dignity the modern media would prefer them stripped of, resonated more.

He followed this up with a luscious and elegant rendition of “Lady’s Bridge”, which he cheekily informed the audience was “not a euphemism”. Whenever I hear this track I am never clear whether he is singing to a lover or his hometown of Sheffield (Lady’s Bridge is a bridge in Sheffield which separates the poorer areas from the rich), but I feel their conflation makes for a truly emotive song which appeals on both levels. These tracks were placed at the heart of the performance and were for me, the gig’s highlights, along with stunning, harmonica-accompanied covers of “Lonesome Town” and “Lonesome Tonight”. They elegantly evoked a real sense of longing and nostalgia.

Hawley’s timeless love songs and paeans to Sheffield give a grace and elegance to the loves of ordinary people and his performance was in keeping with this. His between-song patter fondly referred to his Nan (for whom “Lady Solitude” was written) and his ‘lass’, all with a down-to-earth and modest demeanor which was utterly charming and genuine. He displayed a great sense of humour and eagerness to engage with the crowd and was also extremely generous towards his band, with whom you can tell he has a great relationship. The rest of the audience obviously agreed with me as we all joined in vociferous demands for an encore. These were rewarded with ‘I told you I’d be back’, and a stonking finale which closed with the gorgeous “The Ocean”, which for one last time allowed us to witness that as well as being a lovely man and talented singer, Hawley is also a fine guitarist. The performance was mind-blowingly epic and is one I will never forget.

Richard Hawley is currently on tour –

February 2008 tour dates:

Wednesday 6th Southampton, Guildhall 02380 632 601
Friday 8th Manchester, Academy 0161 832 111
Saturday 9th Glasgow, ABC 08444 999 990
Monday 11th Leicester, De Montfort Hall 0116 233 3111
Tuesday 12th London, Astoria 0871 231 0821 / 020 7287 0932
Thursday 14th Galway, Roisin Dubh
Friday 15th Dublin, Vicar Street
Saturday 16th Belfast, Mandela Hall
Monday 18th York, Opera House 0870 606 3595
Tuesday 19th Buxton, Opera House 0845 127 2190
Saturday 23rd Festival para Gente Sentada, Cine-Teatro Antonio Lamoso, Santa Maria de Feira, Portugal
Sunday 24th Malaga, Teatro Cervantes


Richard Hawley on Myspace
Richard Hawley Official Website

By: Lindsey Davis