Hailing from a family of musicians, Sheffield-born Richard Hawley was gigging solo around Germany at the tender age of fourteen.
His first band, Treebound Story, was founded while he was still in school and though they signed to a label, they never made it big – as was the frustrating story of Hawley’s life for the following years. Close to giving up on the game altogether after the implosion of yet another band (Britpop outfit Longpig), he got a call asking if he’d like to go on the road with fellow Sheffield band Pulp. Three exhilarating years of touring followed, but once more Hawley found himself back at square one when he returned home.
He got back to basics and penned paeans to the faded glory of Pitsmoor, the Sheffield suburb he grew up in. With its timeless quality, heartfelt lyrics and retro, romantic feel, carried by his distinctive voice – his self-titled debut album was a blueprint for what was to come.
Hawley has gone on to release eight solo albums, the latest of which, Hollow Meadows, was released last month to glowing reviews. He’s earned a fiercely loyal fanbase, becoming Sheffield’s most revered troubadour, and been nominated for the Mercury Prize twice (Alex Turner of the Arctic Monkeys, who won the prize, famously exclaimed ‘Someone call 999, Richard Hawley’s been robbed”).
See if you agree at the Corn Exchange on 26 October, tickets are £27.50.