Richard Hawley takes in the beauty of Durham Cathedral with incredible NASUWT brass band set
Richard Hawley made a debut performance at Durham Cathedral alongside the NASUWT Brass Band, with the collaboration highlighting Hawley’s work as some of the best around
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Good gigs are made on the performer. Great gigs are made on atmosphere, character and company. Richard Hawley’s work with the NASUWT Brass Band made for a special night not just for the Sheffield-born singer, but those in the audience.
It’s a show filled with great tracks and music from one of the most underrated musicians of the past two decades.
Third track in the set Don’t Stare at the Sun marks the collected understanding of how great a venue Durham Cathedral is for an acoustic and brass mixture.
In noting that, Hawley offers a brief response to the crowd, saying “that was mental.” That it was. Hawley has an incomparable voice. Truly unique.
He is the crooner the 1950s were begging for, the lyrical genius that coaxed Arctic Monkeys and Pulp into desperately working away with him. He is the unsung legend of Sheffield and there is no better venue for Hawley than somewhere of real majesty.
A first “Hawley Communion” as the singer offers in his introduction delighted the intimate audience found at Durham Cathedral, a place whose intense history reflects well on the performer surrounded by the historic building’s beauty.
Other tracks Coles Corner from the album of the same name marks a brilliant crescendo into the highs of his work, followed up with Roll River Roll.
These are moving, beautiful pieces on their own. But live? They take on a whole new meaning. A constantly shifting effect that moves and sways with ease.
A highlight-filled set hits its high point, naturally, with an acoustic rendition of Tonight the Streets Are Ours, a track that, when paired with the cathedral and quality of the night, makes for a unique, moving experience.
By his own admission, Hawley had “only played with this lot [NASUWT Brass Band] for half an hour yesterday,” and it was difficult to tell.
They paired together an incredible backing piece to Hawley’s tracks, and the Sheffield-born singer understands their importance, dipping away from the spotlight from time to time to give the talented ensemble their spotlight moments.
Stealing Standing at the Sky’s Edge from out underneath him, NASUWT Brass Band were a sincerely nice addition to Hawley’s Durham Cathedral debut.