Standing at the Sky's Edge Tour Kentish Town

Richard Hawley Breaks Leg, Plays HMV Forum, Kentish Town

Standing at the Sky's Edge Tour

“Well – as you can see we’ll be Sitting At The Sky’s Edge tonight” quips Richard Hawley, who is brought onstage in a wheelchair to the considerable surprise of the sold out crowd for this live show to support his Standing At The Sky’s Edge album.

“I broke my leg in Barcelona” he explains “I’d love to say it was doing something amazing, but I slipped on a marble staircase wearing leather shoes.”

The Sheffield guitarist has an impressively leafy stage set to go with his new show. “Do you like Richard Hawley’s Garden Centre?” he asks later “It’s like B&Q in here…”

Richard Hawley is the latest person to embrace his inner hippy with it having been the best year for psychedelia since Syd Barrett quit Pink Floyd after playing one too many gigs with Mandrax crushed into his Brylcreem to allow the stage lights to allow it to melt down his face. Allegedly.

Standing at the Sky's Edge Tour Kentish Town

First Paul Weller dabbled on latest album Sonik Kicks, then Noel Gallagher released a track in conjunction with Amorphous Androgynous. Now it’s Hawley’s turn – and his is the best of the lot.

Hawley came to prominence in the UK a few years ago after an extraordinarily beautiful performance at the Mercury Music Awards supporting his nominated album, the sublime Cole’s Corner. Such was the strength of the song and accompanying album that eventual winner (and fellow Sheffield resident) Arctic Monkeys‘ frontman Alex Turner memorably began his award acceptance speech with “Someone call 999. Richard Hawley’s been robbed!”

Whilst What Did You Expect From The Arctic Monkeys… was a more than worthy winner, there was an element of truth in Mr Turner’s words.

Until that night, only the hippest hipsters of Hipsterville had heard of Hawley. It turned out, in fact, that he had previously played with The Longpigs and for a time with Pulp. Now, it is a genuine surprise if Coles Corner is not played at a dinner party anywhere in the UK.

Which brings us nicely to Hawley’s latest record, the rather marvellous Standing At The Sky’s Edge. A step forward from the last couple of records, Standing… takes Hawley into previously uncharted territory (for him at least) whereby he has finally turned his amp up. The record is all the better for it, and is an early contender to take the prize that Cole’s Corner had stolen from it. Hawley will be hoping The Arctic Monkeys don’t have a new album out anytime soon.

Standing at the Sky's Edge

Live, Hawley is witty and charming, even whilst immobile and on painkillers, (though to be fair, very few of those drugs were crushed into his Brylcreem) “I feel like Davros from Doctor Who. I’m sorry I’m not talking more, but I’m on some serious drugs…” He plays a good amount of the new album, interspersed with older favourites The Ocean, Tonight The Streets Are Ours and Open Up Your Door. Even with the newer, more psychedelic tunes, it’s a mellow kind of night. In a really good way.

Support were Y Niwl – a Welsh surf-rock instrumental band, which, like a Norwegian Mariachi band or a talented boy band isn’t something you see every day. Worth checking out if you have worn out your Dick Dale albums…

Richard Hawley will be touring the UK and playing a number of Festivals over the summer. Standing At The Sky’s Edge is out now.

Record #54: Richard Hawley – Down In The Woods


3 responses to “Richard Hawley Breaks Leg, Plays HMV Forum, Kentish Town”

  1. Avatar

    Great post. I’ll have to keep my eye out for some Hawley.

    The broken leg part reminds me of when I saw Weezer in 1995 in Cleveland. It was the ‘Blue’ album tour. Rivers came out on stage on crutches. He had those metal halos around his leg with metal pins going through his leg. I think it’s to fuse the bone back together and keep it in place. It actually looked pretty gross. He looked pale and was probably all doped up too.

    I saw them on TV (telly) later and he had the halo covered with baggy pants (trousers), but you can still see the outline of it. Notice he doesn’t move around at all.


    1. every record tells a story Avatar

      Nice. This was the first time I saw a guitarist sit down to play his set since Jeff Healy played the same venue 20 years ago…


  2. […] for a marble staircase in Barcelona (rock ‘n’ roll). Rather than cancel any gigs, he carried on the tour in a wheelchair, thus mirroring the late Curt Cobain, who did the same at Reading 1992 (albeit for different […]


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: