Hawley in Madrid: chronicle of an epiphany foretold
Last Monday I attended a concert by the great Richard Hawley at the Teatro Barceló. And, as you would imagine, he once again, commanded the euphoria of those present. Johnny Cash and Roy Orbison’s heir was on stage right on time, smiling and with usual smiling face, gelled back hair, wearing a Texan jacket and even said a few words in Spanish.
So, while we were expectant and wide-eyed…Pulp’s ex guitarist, who is one of the greats of British pop rock history, launched into new tracks from his eighth album “Hollow Meadows” (Parlophone/Warner) with the spontaneous impetus that characterizes him. As with the great classics from his previous albums and accompanied by his band, he used his multiple guitars.
However, and just at the beginning, something happened that surprised both him and us. As he was introducing himself, a girl who was in one of the first rows, shouted: “Wait, wait, my boyfriend is in the toilets!”… To which Hawley ironically answered: “Have you really spent 100 euros to come and piss?”…
In any case, despite his cold, Hawley was happy and was joking throughout the concert, whilst song after song he managed to move us and appreciate him as if he could make us levitate with each new success of his penetrating and delicate psychedelia. Inevitable of course as going to one of this man’s concerts is to submit yourself to an extra strong dose of intensity and emotion, which knocks you out (in the positive meaning of the word).
The set list was excellent throughout the whole night and artfully interspersed new songs like “Which Way”, “Heart of Oak” or “I Still want You” with some of their signature songs like “Open Up Your Door”, “The Streets are Ours” or “Don’t Stare at the Sun”. Ok, so he didn’t play “The Ocean”, but in my case at least, it wasn’t necessary, because although part of the audience were calling out for it, the Sheffielder was illusive. I guess that he must be sick of the fact that this song has become “Hawley’s song”, even though he has an endless list of hits that aren’t as well-known but which have been highly acclaimed.
I’m ending this post with the certainty of having gone once again to one of the best concerts of my life.
(*) Photo: Pexels.