Richard Hawley (born Richard Willis Hawley, 17 January 1967, Sheffield, England) is a guitarist, singer, songwriter and producer. After his first band Treebound Story (formed while he was still at school) broke up, Hawley found success as a member of Britpop band Longpigs in the 1990s. He later played with Pulp, led by his friend Jarvis Cocker. As a solo musician, Hawley has released six studio albums to date.
It was an encounter at Hawley's Sheffield home that led the longtime collaborator out of the shadows. Impressed by a home demo of his songs, both Pulp's Jarvis Cocker and Steve Mackey (a former classmate from Hucklow Middle School) urged Hawley to head into the recording studio and begin work on his first solo release. His resulting eponymous mini-album, released in 2000, encouraged Hawley to return to the studio once more. In 2001, Late Night Final, named after the cry of vendors selling the Sheffield Star evening newspaper on the streets of the city, was released to positive reviews from the press, if unspectacular sales. Two years later Hawley released Lowedges, another Sheffield reference, this time to the curiously named suburb of the city that had so entranced the young Hawley when he had seen it on the destination board of a bus. NME called Lowedges the "first great album of 2003" and it topped an end-of-the-year poll held by Virgin Radio. Critical praise was widespread, leading many big names such as Coldplay, Radiohead and R.E.M. to enthuse about Hawley's work.
After the demise of Setanta Records in 2004, Hawley eventually signed to Mute Records, a division of EMI. Legal wrangling delayed Coles Corner, Hawley's fourth release, until September 2005. Again, Hawley mined the theme of his beloved home city, this time referencing the location where courting lovers meet. Coles Corner eventually gained a nomination for the Mercury Prize in 2006. Alex Turner of the Arctic Monkeys, whose debut album won the prize, famously exclaimed "Someone call 999, Richard Hawley's been robbed!"
Hawley's 2007 album Lady's Bridge (again named with a Sheffield reference - Lady's Bridge is in the centre of Sheffield) was released in the United Kingdom on 20 August 2007. He performed a 16-date tour during September 2007 to promote the album. Merchandising on the tour included the usual t-shirts and posters, but also special edition bottles of Henderson's Relish. The bottles featured the album's artwork, and a note to those unfamiliar with the relish that it gave extra flavour to meat, fish, soups, pies, casseroles and vegetables. Hawley previously used the relish to promote Coles Corner.
On 14 January 2008, Hawley was nominated for his first solo Brit Award for Best British Male Performer. Hawley was a headlining act at the 2008 Festival Internacional de Benicàssim in Spain. Hawley claimed that it was the best festival audience he had ever played to. Hawley recently produced, with Colin Elliott, and contributed two songs to the album Made in Sheffield, a compilation of songs by Sheffield-based songwriters for Tony Christie.
Truelove's Gutter, Richard's sixth studio album, is to be released on Mute Records on 21 September 2009.
Hawley has also worked with several musicians, including Hank Marvin, A Girl Called Eddy, and Jarvis Cocker (and his Relaxed Muscle project). He played the guitar solo on All Saints' cover version of "Under the Bridge," and co-wrote Robbie Williams' song "Clean" from his debut album Life Thru a Lens.
Praise from R.E.M.'s Mike Mills led to him being approached to support the group on several concert dates in 2005. After contributing to Nancy Sinatra's 2004 self-titled album, Hawley supported her on a European tour in 2005.
Hawley provided vocals for "Bad Woman," a B-side to Arctic Monkeys' single "Teddy Picker," released on 3 December 2007. He also co-wrote and provided vocals and guitar to the song "The Fix" on Elbow's Mercury Prize-winning 2008 album The Seldom Seen Kid. Hawley also performed the song with the band at the Glastonbury Festival in June 2008, on The Culture Show in June 2008, at Elbow's homecoming gigs in Manchester in 2008, and at Blackpool's Empress Ballroom in March 2009. He reprised his collaboration with Elbow on 17 January 2009 for a special recording of The Seldom Seen Kid with the BBC Concert Orchestra at Abbey Road Studios, which was subsequently released as a special edition CD and DVD set titled The Seldom Seen Kid Live at Abbey Road in March 2009.
Hawley occasionally gigs with The Feral Cats, a side project that enables him to explore his interest in rockabilly music.
- Richard Hawley (Setanta) (2001) (album re-released including all the single b-sides)
- Late Night Final (Setanta) (2001)
- Lowedges (Setanta) (2003) (UK #169)
- Coles Corner (Mute) (2005) (UK #37)
- Lady's Bridge (Mute) (2007) (UK #6)
- Truelove's Gutter (Mute) (2009)
- as a member of Treebound Story
- "My Life's Example" (1988) (Fon Records)
- "Swimming in the Heart of Jane" (1989) (Native Records 12NTV 40)
- "Take" (1989) (Native Records 12NTV 43)
- from Richard Hawley
- "Coming Home" (2001)
- from Late Night Final
- "Baby, You're My Light" (2002) (UK #81)
- from Lowedges
- "Run for Me" (2003) (UK #186)
- from Coles Corner
- "The Ocean" (2005) (UK #102)
- "Coles Corner" (2005) (UK #146)
- "Just Like the Rain" (2006) (UK #94)
- "Born Under a Bad Sign" (2006) (UK #81)
- "Coles Corner" (re-issue) (2006) (UK #136)
- "Hotel Room" (2006) (UK #64)
- from Lady's Bridge
- "Tonight the Streets Are Ours" (2007) (UK #40)
- "Serious" (2007) (UK #83)
- "Valentine" (2008) (UK #134)
- Lady's Bridge EP (2008)
- from the film Flick
- "Rockabilly Radio" 10" vinyl (2008)
- from Truelove's Gutter
- "For Your Lover, Give Some Time" (2009)
Biography from Wikipedia