Review and Photography by Robert Barrett
The Kasbah’s side room is well known in Coventry as being the place indie rock fans find refuge pop overdose of the main room. On Thursday it was a slightly different type of refuge, one for music fans when Richard Hawley played a surprisingly intimate performance.
The tiny room was already feeling hot and sweaty as support Ed Cosens graced the staged backed only by his acoustic guitar. Even though he was a last moment step in for original support Studio Electrophonique his music captivated the room. Supporting his debut album “Fortune Favours” the stripped back versions of tracks such as ‘On The Run” showing his song writing chops and excellent guitar work.
A small desk fan backed by an even smaller smoke machine was hastily set up next to the bar before Richard Hawley appeared. The Sheffield based legend is used to much bigger stages than this, and the full band that backed him looked cramped on the tiny stage. It didn’t stop them from bringing an immaculate performance. With the hard edged rocker “Off My Mind” kicking it off in style.
The set was focused on his latest release, 2019’s “Further” but managed to squeeze in a few classic songs such as the eternally beautiful “Tonight the Streets are Ours”. Some excellent banter from Richard filled in between songs including informing us that the Ipad he now uses as a lyric book was a gift from Shirley Bassey (sadly not true).
Not even the technical difficulties could stop the psychedelic wig out of “Down in the Woods”. Richard and his band came back for a two song encore of “There’s a Storm Coming” and “Heart of Oak” with Richard giving thanks to his technical team after the challenging day they had. Even with the challenges of the Kasbah’s side room, Richard and band had put on one hell of a show.