Hot off the back of the release of his new album last month, Richard Hawley arrived at the Glasshouse in Gateshead for his first show on Tyneside since 2019.

For those who have attended a concert within Hall One at the Glasshouse, you would be familiar with the room being fully seated. But on this occasion, the seats on the floor were removed to allow a vast floor standing area for the huge crowd in attendance. Coupled with those in the balconies above, the room was packed to the rafters to witness the English singer-songwriter, guitarist, and producer.

Following an enchanting opening set from Thea Gilmore, the headliner opened the show. Bedecked in dark glasses and a light coat, Richard Hawley kicked off the proceedings with She Brings the Sunlight, Two for His Heels and Prism in Jeans. With a pair of tracks from the artist's latest album, In This City They Call You Love, featured at the top of the show, it set the tone for the evening ahead.

Hawley has strong ties to the North East via his father, who hailed from Bishop Auckland. However, the artist wears the love of his native Sheffield on his sleeve. The stage was also decorated with a large sign emblazoned with ‘Welcome to Sheffield’, nestled in front of the drum riser. Furthermore, Hawley held no punches against the current government whilst highlighting the upcoming general election on the 4th of July. He suggested that the Tories are no friends to Sheffield or the North East.

Throughout the evening, Richard Hawley’s set ebbed and flowed from cinematic ballads to outright rockers, with the likes of Standing at the Sky’s Edge, Tonight the Streets Are Ours and Coles Corner being just some of the crowd-pleasers featured during the performance. Each song in the set received plentiful applause. The standing audience in Hall One on this occasion certainly changed the dynamic of the venue.

Richard's witty and sometimes self-deprecating stage banter established a rapport with the Gateshead audience. Subsequently, the artist highly commended his five-piece band, by stating: "It says Richard Hawley on the ticket, but I share the stage with some fantastic musicians." And each of their contributions throughout the evening was rock solid. 

Richard Hawley closed out his main set with Is There a Pill and the all-out rocker Heart of Oak.

Alongside his stellar solo career, Richard Hawley has found success performing in groups such as the Longpigs and Pulp. But on his now tenth solo studio album, the artist’s latest offering is perhaps one of his best, and his live show was a testament to this. On Thursday evening, Richard Hawley and his musical counterparts delivered a set stronger than Sheffield Steel.