on 29 November 2009
I bought this album after playing the 30 second samples on Amazon, being unfamiliar with Richard Hawley`s work. I must admit I was a little unsure when I first heard it, but it grabbed me enough for me to want to replay it. After half a dozen plays I was hooked, it`s been on constant play in my car ever since. This is one infectious album - and would definately be one of my Desert Island Discs, in the company of the likes of The Beatles, Bob Dylan and Leonard Cohen - Yes, it`s that good !.
on 5 July 2008
I, like many others, have Jools Holland to thank for exposing me to the talent that is Richard Hawley. When I say talent, I mean it in the true sense of the word - Hawley is a unique talent, who is still not receiving the proper recognition for his consistently high quality output.
Having set the bar high with this album's predecessor "Coles Corner" I, like some here, initially felt this album didn't quite match it. A few listens later and how wrong am I? This is every bit as good, if not even better.
Some say old fashioned, I say classic; we have all but lost the institution that was the quality independent record shop on your High Street. Richard Hawley is the equivelant of your favourite old record shop, against the rest of the mass-manufactured pap that is the cheap, poor quality mp3 download.
Get some timeless quality music - get a bit of the talented Richard Hawley. And Lady's Bridge is a good place to start.
on 25 April 2010
I am delighted with this purchase. I had heard Richard Hawley on radio & TV on quite rare occasions (perhaps I'm listening to the wrong shows!) Anyway, didn't know which CD of his to choose but plumped for this one and love it. I intend to buy his other CDs some time soon. He has a really pleasant voice to listen & relax to. At least one track reminded me of Morrissey but don't let this put you off if you are not a Morrissey fan as Richard's songs aren't as depressing! Don't get me wrong-I adore Morrissey & The Smiths also!
I suggest you sit down and relax whilst listening to this CD so you can really take it in and enjoy it.
on 21 March 2008
It's all been said in the other reviews, this guy is unbelieveably brilliant !! Why don't we ever hear him on the radio ?? This guy deserves far more recognition than he has at the moment.
on 11 August 2010
This is a classic album. I think it's Hawley's best so far, although I loved his other albums too (Truelove's Gutter, Coles Corner, etc). All of the tracks are great but I especially liked 'tonight the streets are ours', 'our darkness', and 'the sun refused to shine'. No duds on this album. Great value for money and a perfect cd for your car.
on 26 August 2007
Richard Hawley's fifth solo album recalls the music performed in ballrooms of the 1950s and 1960s where the girls wore puffball skirts and pigtails and the boys had slicked-back hair and wore white suits to go dancing. The album is dedicated to his father (a steel worker who played in rock'n'roll bands at the weekends and who died of cancer at the beginning of 2007) and explores feelings of weakness and vulnerability: "Nothing ever mattered more than not doubting" (Valentine). There's no avoiding Sheffield with Hawley: the usual photos of day-to-day Sheffield life are here, this time captured in hues of red, yellow and blue ("Macho music is stupid" reads the graffiti on one photo); and like 2005's 'Cole's Corner', the title is also taken from a Sheffield landmark.
There are songs of feeling abandoned as well as ones about abandoning others. And a longing to escape back to an ideal love before giving love and being loved got difficult: "No sound of the shore / I dream of sailing the oceans / In a galleon all golden" (The Sea Calls). He uses dragging feminine endings to express yearning on Valentine: "Bring me to the light of the morning / And take me through this night till the dawning / Oh I see a warning in your eyes". The same is true of 'Our Darkness': "I'm lost here in the grey, I wait for your returning / I watch firelight play, flames flicker with my yearning".
Standouts: Tonight the Streets are Ours, Valentine, The Sun Refused to Shine, Our Darkness
It`s taken me a while but last year I discovered the exquisite music of this fine man, whose voice reminds me of so many others` while at the same time being one of a kind. Each time I listen I hear echoes of the great & the good of the past, and present - for example Ricky Nelson, Eddie Cochran, early Cliff, Scott Walker, fragile-voiced jazz singer-trumpeter Chet Baker, Bob "Elusive Butterfly" Lind, a touch of Sinatra, a spectre (ho-ho) of the Ronettes, a dash of both Elvises, a hint of pared-down country, and of course Roy Orbison, with whom he shares an affectingly slight lisp...and, dare I say it, Morrissey. It`s perhaps invidious to compare, but Mr Hawley is all I wish Mr Morrissey were - not being much of a fan of the latter.
Lady`s Bridge is a flawless jewel in the generally moribund setting of British rock. To call this rock is only to use a generic term for music that transcends labels. Hawley lovingly channels whole eras of popular music - in particular rockabilly, fifties` balladry, and the quirkier byways of 80s/90s British pop-rock.
At least that`s what my ears hear. But mainly what I hear, after all the comparisons, is a singer-songwriter of shy tenderness, restraint, occasional high spirits and a man obviously steeped in the traditions of all that`s gone before.
This is a gorgeous collection of songs, for me a whisker of an improvement on the brilliant Cole`s Corner, though less varied in tone & tempo than its much-praised predecessor.
I haven`t singled out particular songs as the whole thing is utterly lovely from start to finish. Rarely in these knowing days does one hear an album made with such care, tact, and total lack of cynicism.
I found a review of Lady`s Bridge in an old Mojo the other day: lukewarm, rather sniffy, only 2 stars! Good to see such cloth-eared misguidedness rectified by my fellow reviewers here.
on 20 April 2008
Beautiful, is how id describe Richards music. I could count the number of what id call true, music ledgends on one hand, and Richard has to be one of them. Ex guitarist with sheffield bands, 'Pulp'with Jarvis Cocker, and the longpigs, like myself, is a sheffield lad, and a genuis,(unlike me unfortunatly).
This is the follow up to the mercury nominated,'Coles corner',another great album. and is set to be a real classic. With Richards deep rich resounding vocals, full of emotion, great melodic songwriting, and clever lyrics. Every song on this album is superb and, instantly likeable from the first bar as, myself and friends found out. Richard is proud to be a sheffielder, and mentions places in the city he knows in his songs.(Lady's bridge )is sheffields oldest bridge, and I find this great song emotional, as Richard writes from the heart like all good songwriters, and it gets to yours as well, in a pleasent comforting way. 'Tonight the streets are ours, is a real gem, with its catchy melody, angelic backing harmonies, and mandolin style that hits you from the start, my favourite track. Richards music covers styles from blues,rockabilly, country,an ecelectic blend styles to please most tastes.
Richards music and lyrics are very romantic in style.Sentimental? yes in a nice way. a great chillout album, just relax put your feet up, and listen to Richards almost hypnotic soothing voice,
Theres something very comforting about richards voice, that takes me back to my childhood.listening to the family bakelite radio, all tooked up in bed, nice and cosy. Listening to the delights of, Jim Reeves, Ella Fitzgerald, Natking cole ect. wondering how the hell they all got into our radio.
Richard, has been compaired to Johnny cash, and Roy orboson. and his music has a very 50s feel brought up to date.
This is a superb album, a great production, orchastration,and a timeless classic. Richard has set a high standard few, could come close to, and is a refrehing change to todays often bland chart music, that dosent come close.
I have had the privalidge to have met Richard several times, and hes a great guy, a proper sheffielder, easy going down to earth dead funny, and great company.( mines a pint of lager next time I see ye Richard).
If you ever get to see him live hes great. I saw him at sheffield city hall last year, it was the best concert, ive ever been to. everyone was transfixed, the backing band were great, and he has a great sense of humour.
It was great to learn that, Sally Dougherty did backing vocals on this album. I have met her, and heard her sing also. shes another great talent. if you like jazz, latin grooves. check her out.
Lady's Bridge is a real classsy album. from a very talented guy.a true legend, and a rare classic. If you like proper great music, heart felt ballards, or some of the more up tempo tracks. your in for a real treat. this guy will continue to write great music, and, will be conciderd to be one of the greats of all time. a must for every collection. go buy it now!.
The proudly working class, Sheffield-born, Sheffield-residing Richard Hawley returns with another album of ballads and unashamed romanticism. Lady's Bridge, the follow-up to the Mercury Music Prize nominated Coles Corner, picks up from where the last album left off, featuring a whole set of songs with a timeless, nostalgic feel all held together by Hawley's rich, crooning vocals. This is, almost without exception, a magnificent album from start to finish. It opens particularly well; Valentine and Roll River Roll are both gorgeous string-laden romantic classics, Serious is a country-tinged, skiffle-influenced toe-tapper and Tonight The Streets Are Ours is reminiscent of 1950s reverb-drenched pop magnificence.
Richard Hawley wears his influences on his sleeve, whether it be Johnny Cash on the pleasant stroll of a song that is Dark Road or Roy Orbison on, well, pretty much most of this album. Vocally, he is closest to Edwyn Collins but, from time to time, you hear a little bit of Elvis creeping in there as well. The only one negative on this album is that it is one song too long. Although it's quite a good track, the very last song The Sun Refused To Shine really doesn't belong on Lady's Bridge in terms of structure or feel and finishes the album on a low rather than the almost constant high which runs throughout this very fine piece of work. If you enjoyed Coles Corner then you will almost certainly love this album. If you've never heard Coles Corner or, indeed, any Richard Hawley, but love timeless, classic, romantic music - well, this album is for you.
on 15 February 2008
This is a treat for the ears and the soul. Listening to Richard Hawley's Roy Orbison-caterpulted-into-21st-century-Britain masterpiece, you feel all of life's ups and downs but also a feeling of deep contentment that there are still real people around, with talent, that can make good records.
This CD has everything, from Rockabilly, to Country, to crooning, all sung with a huge dollop of humanity from a man who sounds like he's enjoying himself to the max with every chord.