Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Out of the Gutter; Richard Hawley's New Album, Truelove's Gutter, Is out Now. He Is at the Sage Gateshead Tomorrow

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Out of the Gutter; Richard Hawley's New Album, Truelove's Gutter, Is out Now. He Is at the Sage Gateshead Tomorrow

Article excerpt

IT'S amazing what we like to assume from the way someone takes their tea.

Too weak and we suspect the drinker might be lacking a bit of backbone. Too many sugars and there could be maturity issues.

When Richard Hawley saw Tony Christie making a brew last year, he says it was a clear sign that the Amarillo singer was a good sort.

"He's the only person apart from me and my dad that uses two teabags in a cup. Tea should be so strong you should be able to stand up in it," Hawley enthuses.

They were at Yellow Arch Studios in Sheffield, where Hawley was co-producing Christie's themed cover album, Made In Sheffield.

"It's the little things like that which move me - little serendipitous things that let you know what you're doing is right," says Hawley.

"You could say I'm a sentimental old git."

Actually, that's not quite what he said. If using expletives was an event in the 2012 Olympics, the UK would have a gold in the bag, as Hawley's talent for using swearwords knows no bounds.

With a love of such fortuitous coincidences, it's no wonder the 42-year-old former Pulp guitarist was so happy during the recording of his latest album, the wonderful Truelove's Gutter.

Like his previous three albums - Lowedges, Coles Corner and Lady's Bridge - it took its name from a Sheffield location.

Unlike his other albums, which have largely featured the standard line-up of guitars, bass, drums and lush orchestral arrangements, Truelove's Gutter saw Hawley stepping away from the string section as his stock-intrade accompaniment. Instead, the album boasts an array of wonderful instruments.

"I wanted to use a musical saw because my grandad used to play that," he says.

"I found this guy called David Coulter who plays the saw, so I got in touch and he came up to Sheffield.

"Colin Elliot, who coproduces all my stuff and plays bass, said he used to go to school with a guy called David Coulter, but didn't think it would be the same bloke.

"The David Coulter we had coming to play the saw had worked with Tom Waits, Marianne Faithfull and all these amazing bands.

"Anyway, Colin went to meet him at the station and they recognised each other - it was the same guy he'd been to school with. …

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