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<p><figcaption class=Richard Hawley is due to perform at the fire station (Image: SUNDERLAND CULTURE)

One of the UK’s leading songwriters will perform in the region as part of a short Christmas tour.

Former Longpigs and Pulp guitarist and vocalist Richard Hawley will perform at The Fire Station, Sunderland on Monday December 12 as part of an impressive Christmas programme.

Hawley, born in Sheffield, formed his first band, Treebound Story, while still at school in Steel City. He then rose to fame as the guitarist for the Britpop band Longpigs in the 1990s. The indie rock band had success with singles She Said and On and On before breaking up in 2000.

Hawley then toured with Britpop idols Pulp, managed by friend and fellow musician from Sheffield, Jarvis Cocker.

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In the two decades since Hawley left the life of the band, the 52-year-old songwriter has forged one of the most singular and diverse careers in modern music.

He released a string of solo albums that achieved the rare feat of being both critically acclaimed and commercially successful, two of which – Cole’s Corner and Standing at the Sky’s Edge – were nominated for a Mercury Prize. .

Hawley was also nominated for a Brit Award in 2013 and his latest album Further, released in 2019, entered the UK charts at number 3.

Hawley has also worked with a host of impressive collaborators – such as Arctic Monkeys, Manic Street Preachers, Elbow, Texas, Robbie Williams and Paul Weller, alongside personal heroes such as American guitarist Duane Eddy, Shirley Bassey, Nancy Sinatra, Lisa Marie Presley and British folk royalty Martin Carthy and Norma Waterson.

Hawley has also found time to write successful musical and film soundtracks, including Funny Cow (2017) and Pond Life (2018).

He always drew on his own experiences to help shape his writing, adding literary influences to increase his powers of observation.

He said: “My grandmother and great aunts used to make paper doilies themselves rather than buying them from a store and cutting them out. When I was a child, I looked at them and tried to imagine an image behind them. That’s what songwriting is for – don’t fill the whole placemat because the human brain will fill it.”

He has strong ties to the North East, his father having spent much of his childhood in Bishop Auckland.

Tamsin Austin, Venue Manager of The Fire Station, said: “We are delighted to have Richard Hawley performing at The Fire Station next month – his career is one of the most diverse in contemporary music and he is held in high regard. by artists and contributors from the worlds of rock, pop, folk, Americana and country.

“Time and time again he has shown his ability to cross genres, proving his deep understanding of musical roots.

“Cole’s Corner, his groundbreaking solo album, is rightly considered a modern classic, and the albums that followed showed how he developed his craft at his own pace, but with real momentum. It’s going to be a great night and we’ve already generated huge interest since the gig was announced.

Hawley’s performance is just one of the highlights of a December program which also includes The Futureheads, The Royal Northern Sinfonia, The Cornshed Sisters, The Reg Vardy Brass Band, American comedian Rich Hall and a New Year’s Eve party. Good times.

Tickets are on sale now – for more information visit www.thefirestation.org.uk

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