Mute CDMUTE382 / LCDMUTE382: 6th August 2007
1. Tonight The Streets Are Ours
“Those people, they got nothing in their souls, and they make our TVs blind us, from our vision and our goals”
2. Vickers Road
“Do you remember Fridays and the pop wagon, sold by dodgy lads fresh out of prison, it was s’posed to last us all through the week, we’d drink it all in one night, then we couldn’t get to sleep”
3. I Sleep Alone (Live At Sheffield City Hall)
“Deeper, I’m goin’ deeper, seeping below the darkest thoughts of man, the thoughts of man, through these thoughts I sleep alone”
4. Coming Home (Live At Sheffield City Hall)
“Goin’ to the station, it’s time for me to go, don’t think that I will miss you, when that whistle blows”
I read an interview today where Richard Hawley described ‘Tonight The Streets Are Ours’ as a political song about Britain’s ASBO sub-culture. This meaning had escaped me, much like the meaning of ‘Standing In The Way Of Control’, which was an equally ‘Subtle’ protest song. However, the lyrics are something you can contemplate after you’ve drifted away on the shimmering waves of massed Strings, layers of Guitars and even the rarely heard click of the Castanets. Of course Richard Hawley’s deeply romantic vocals are as heartbreakingly beautiful as you’d expect. The angelic backing vocals instantly reminded me of the song that played over the closing credits of ‘Stringray’. It was later that I noticed that the liner notes credited Sally Doherty with providing “Aquamarina Vocals”.
B-side ‘Vickers Road’ is even better and has a much more restrained production for those that might find the A-side a little too much. It’s a warmly nostalgic look back at the simplicity of childhood when the street where you lived seemed like the whole world. The vocal is so intimate that you can almost smell the bread baking, and feel the sun shining when he describes it.
The live version of last-album-highlight ‘I Sleep Alone’ starts off with Richard crooning over a lonely acoustic Guitar. Then the band slowly come in, bit by bit, like the instruments are his friends gathering round to soothe him in his despair. The best bit is when he’s humming the melody and the Harmonica whistles the same melody back at him. ‘Coming Home’ is lovely too, God I wish I had been in Sheffield that night.
Click here to buy Richard Hawley albums from HMV.
Here are links to watch Richard’s typically beautiful videos: Baby You’re My Light / Coles Corner / Just Like The Rain / Born Under A Bad Sign / Tonight The Streets Are Ours
Here’s a whole load of acoustic songs that Richard’s site is kindly hosting for free:
Richard Hawley – The Nights Are Cold (Acoustic) mp3
Richard Hawley – I’m On Nights (Acoustic) mp3
Richard Hawley – It’s Over Love (Acoustic) mp3
Richard Hawley – Darlin’ (Acoustic) mp3
Richard Hawley – Precious Sight (Acoustic) mp3
Also, here are two of my favourite B-sides:
Richard Hawley – I’m Just Here To Get My Baby Out Of Jail mp3 (Everly Brothers cover)
Richard Hawley – Some Candy Talking mp3 (Jesus & Mary Chain cover)
Richard Hawley Website / Richard Hawley MySpace