After a fitting introduction, with Ireland's Lisa Hannigan more than warming up the crowd from the autumnal chill, the sweetly served starter made way for last night's jovial host. Whether rigorously riding the wave of the Friday feeling, or relishing in recent Mercury Prize nomination, the Sheffield-born singer-songwriter was cracking all the jokes, in-between conducting luscious live reworks of his knowing back catalogue.
With a stage set up mimicking the cover of his 2012 Mercury nominated album, Standing At The Sky's Edge, the band were staggered between trees and atmospheric lighting, setting a mood that was to be quickly shattered by smiles, as upon entry Hawley declared, "I'm sh**ing it," in broad Yorkshire tongue. Smoothing over composure with the title track from the album, his narrative baritone built to a peak, with the influx of guitars and stalking drums enhanced in the live setting.
Leading to a declaration that a Scottish band member was most likely conceived under the very stage they stood on, a lean into his less predatory back catalogue could easily have soundtracked that very night in the 60s, as the vintage waltz of Hotel Room sent Glasgow's Barrowlands into a sway, Hawley's Elvis influences at their most obvious.
Holding a more mature crowd who had clearly followed his career, rather than a tip-off from a trendy indie blog, the dedicated fan-base were entirely consumed in the show, leaving anyone who dared speak as the victim of a tundra of icy glares- I found out the hard way.
Tonight The Streets Are Ours, the title track to Banksy's film, Exit Through The Gift Shop, spawned from another of his funny stories, throwing in a gentle reminder of his Pulp connection, when referencing the Britpop band's drummer, also known as Banksy. Drawing attention to his immaculate guitar playing, (and never ending supply of interchanging guitars), it's no wonder the guitarist turned solo artist is associated with so many acts, from All Saints to Elbow, and everyone in between- well aside from Morrissey who was reportedly picky when it came to auditioning Hawley some years ago.
The beautifully placid Seek It was soon relegated as simply the pathway to Soldier On which followed, the crowd demanding a united hush from the first telling chord change of the intro. Leading to a rapid burst in volume that sent the on stage trees into a gentle waver, only for the volume to fall for the rapid clink of the cash registers to be the loudest thing in the room, (let's not forget, it was a Friday night in Glasgow), the majestic seven minute track sculpted a blissful soundtrack, Hawley and his band showing no loss in quality, if anything bettering themselves, on the transition from record to the live setting.
This song was only to by topped by that old ice cream advert favourite, Open Up Your Door, which, rather than requests for 99ers all round, (it is a premium brand ice cream after all), led to prolonged applause and foot stomping on the ballroom floor, leaving the 45-year-old looking on in disbelief at his admirers.
Acting as the doorway to flooding nostalgia, with sweeping synth strings and wise melodies, Richard Hawley appeared sincere and appreciative, declaring his Barrowlands show as his, "favourite concert of all time." From the crowd response, and for good reason, he most definitely wasn't the only one with that opinion.