Just Like the Rain

Last night I saw Richard Hawley play the Pavilion in Cork city. After many weeks of dry and sunny weather, the rain-soaked Cork streets resembled the noirish atmosphere of one of the Sheffield singer-songwriter’s songs. It was a different scene altogether inside the venue. The gig was sold-out and the old-fashioned theatre with its high ceiling was roasting throughout the show. All around the venue, the walls were covered with copies of the above sign. A feature of many of the gigs I’ve attended over the years is that a section of the audience don’t actually go to listen to the music, even though they’ve most likely paid full price for their tickets. It was good to see the management of the venue taking some action to ensure a little less conversation from the audience and it certainly helped the opening act to get his songs heard. James Eliot Taylor kicked things off just after eight and took to the stage dressed like a professor of literature. This image wasn’t completely inappropriate as Mr Taylor’s short set of a half dozen songs was full of witty and evocative lyrics and his songs weren’t short on melody, either

Richard Hawley appeared later dressed in a dapper suit and was accompanied by his guitarist Shez Sheridan, who was also well-turned out. The two sat at their mikes and played a wonderful hour-long set that was followed by a three-song encore. Hawley introduced each song with a nice bit of background information that added an extra dimension to each song. He also engaged in a spot of banter with the audience throughout the gig as he chatted about smoking, drinking and whether or not Cork had a nightlife of any note. The duo started off brightly with three of his more uptempo and well-known numbers, the singles Tonight the Streets Are Ours, Serious and Just Like the Rain, featuring at the top of his set. The guitar playing was quite brilliant throughout, particularly Sheridan’s picking and bottleneck style for one of the encores

Hawley’s baritone voice was also in fine form and with the heat, a full stomach and the slower pace of some of the set, it had an almost hypnotic effect on some members of the audience, including yours truly. He played a few songs from his earlier albums, but mainly drew on tracks from his last three records. Halfway through the concert, he gave the floor to a gentleman from Dublin who made a proposal of marriage to his girlfriend, which she duly accepted. They had met at Hawley’s gig at the Olympia in Dublin last year and will surely choose one of his tunes as their wedding song. It’s unlikely to be the one that followed the public announcement of their engagement, however, as Ashes on the Fire concerns the end of a relationship! He finished the night with a lovely rendition of the title track from Coles Corner, genuinely pleased by the response from the Cork audience. They had already shown their appreciation by keeping their mobile phone use to a minimum throughout the gig and, no mean feat for people from Cork, by keeping their thoughts to themselves throughout the concert

I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry (Hank Williams cover) – Richard Hawley feat Jools Holland


4 thoughts on “Just Like the Rain

  1. The links all worked for me. What a fantastic cover! Having Jools backing you is never a bad idea, but that slide guitar is haunting AND beautiful! Can’t explain why, but listening to that track made me want to dig out “Sweet Soulful Music” by Andy Fairweather Low.

    I hope those signs worked and that they catch on in every venue, in every city, in every country.

    • Yeah, the signs seemed to do the trick, alright, Jim. Though I think that the majority of the audience were genuine fans and were quite attentive throughout. I’ve a few more of his songs posted throughout the site. You should check them out. His Coles Corner album is also worth the effort

  2. your link, she does not work! Great review though. I was at the Dublin gig last year, it was short but sweet as Hawley was under the weather.

    • Thank you for your comment. I’ve checked all the links, including the one to the mp3, and they’re all working. Please let me know which link is not working for you and what kind of error message you’re getting

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