Richard Hawley live @ Hammersmith Apollo

Rock n roll stalwart Richard Hawley played the Hammersmith Apollo last night, his biggest London gig to date. His quiff was impeccable, comic timing perfect and guitar playing to saviour.

Hawley’s breakthrough as a solo artist came in 2005 with the classic ‘Coles Corner’. Remarkably, it only charted at 37 but is there a BBC6 listener who doesn’t own it now. Hawley, like Paul Weller, possesses a drive to work only with new material and leave nostalgia to the meek. As a result, ‘Coles Corner’ and ‘The Ocean’ only make the encore.

The bulk of the set consists of 2012’s psyche-drenched ‘Standing On The Sky’s Edge’ and his latest offing ‘Hollow Meadows’. ‘Don’t Stare At The Sun’ and ‘Down In The Woods’ are propelled with such genius, the tag guitar legend is not far away for Hawley.

Recent single ‘Heart Of Oak’ is given the full beans to mesmerise whilst slower efforts ‘Tuesday pm’ and ‘I Still Want You’ allow for soul searching and lumps in throats.

It’s no surprise to see Hawley cutting loose on the guitar but, with three crooning classics ‘Coles Corner’, ‘Lady’s Bridge’ and ‘Truelove’s Gutter’ in his arsenal, the urge to use that material is highly commendable.