Richard Hawley concludes tour at Scarborough Spa on Thursday after In This City They Call You Love goes top five

Richard Hawley: Made in Sheffield, performing in Scarborough on Thursday. Picture: Dean Chalkley

RICHARD Hawley concludes his 13-date tour with the only Yorkshire gig at Scarborough Spa on Thursday night.

On the heels of his Olivier Award-winning Sheffield musical Standing At The Sky’s Edge opening a six-month West End run at the Gillian Lynne Theatre, the South Yorkshireman will be showcasing his May 31 album, In This City They Call You Love.

Released on BMG, the track listing is Two For His Heels; Have Love; Prism In Jeans; Heavy Rain; People; Hear That Lonesome Whistle Blow; Deep Space; Deep Waters; I’ll Never Get Over You; Do I Really Need To Know?; When The Lights Go Out and ‘Tis Night.

Latest single Two For His Heels is a blues rumble reminiscent of Link Wray and Duane Eddy: a sparse, atmospheric and cinematic song about a deal that goes wrong.

The album title is derived from the lyrics for People, a hymn to his beloved home of Sheffield, the steel city’s proud industrial past and the enduring determination of its citizens.

Summing up his new material, Hawley, 57, says: “I’ve made three albums where I had the title before I’d even begun to record, where I had an agenda. One was Truelove’s Gutter. Another was Standing At The Sky’s Edge, when I wanted to turn everything up and make the music a lot more aggressive, and then this one.

“I wanted it to be multi-coloured in a way…focusing on the voice and what voices can do together. I deliberately only played a handful of guitar solos, to keep it focused on voices, the song and space.”

Two decades have elapsed since Hawley abandoned band life full-time, first withThe Longpigs  and then as  Pulp’s guitarist. Nine studio albums have ensued, along with film scores, a self-titled mini album and the 2023 compilation Now Then: The Very Best Of Richard Hawley, his fourth Top Ten album.

The cover artwork for Richard Hawley’s new album, In This City They Call You Love

In addition, he has worked with such collaborators asArctic Monkeys, Manic Street Preachers, Elbow, Paul Weller, Duane Eddy (co-producing his 2011 album Road Trip), Nancy Sinatra and English folk royalty Martin Carthy and Norma Waterson on 2013’s Bright Phoebus Revisited tour.

In 2002, he co-wrote Clean for Robbie Williams’ debut solo album, Life Thru A Lens; in 2009, he wrote the smouldering ballad After The Rain for Shirley Bassey, and down the years he has performed with All Saints and Texas.

His song Tonight The Streets Are Ourswas featured inThe Simpsonsand Exit Through The Gift Shop: A Banksy Film and Hawley numbers have featured in television dramas Peaky Blinders, The Full Monty and Hijack.

Dear Alien (Who Art In Heaven), co-written with Jarvis Cocker and Wes Anderson for Anderson’s film Asteroid City, was shortlisted for Best Original Song in this year’s Oscars.

Premiered at Sheffield’s Crucible Theatre, the musical Standing At The Sky’s Edge combines 20 Hawley songs with a book by University of York-educated Chris Bush. Winner of Best New Musical and Best Original Score at the 2023 Olivier Awards, the show has moved to the Gillian Lynne Theatre after sold-out Crucible and National Theatre runs.

In 2023, Hawley played five shows with American musician John Grant, former frontman of The Czars, performing the songs of country legend Patsy Cline. 

In This City They Call You Love has become his sixth Top Ten album in a row, available on digipack CD, standard black vinyl, limited-edition transparent blue vinyl exclusive to HMV and indie stores and transparent yellow vinyl, on sale exclusively from the official store, 

Richard Hawley, supported by James Bagshaw, Scarborough Spa, June 20, 7.30pm. Also plays Don Valley Bowl, Sheffield, with The Coral and The Divine Comedy, on August 29. Box office: Scarborough,; Sheffield,

REVIEW: Jane Eyre, Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough, until Saturday. Box office: 01723 370541 or

The woman and man in black at the SJT: Sam Jenkins-Shaw’s Rochester and Eleanor Sutton’s Jane in Jane Eyre. Picture: Tony Bartholomew

AT the heart of the Stephen Joseph Theatre’s Bronte Festival is the SJT and New Vic Theatre’s co-production of Jane Eyre, adapted by Chris Bush, a Sheffield playwright with a York past drawn to Charlotte Bronte’s revolutionary spirit.

In the wake of the 2022 tour of Kirsty Smith and Kat Rose-Martin’s Jane Hair, re-imagining the Bronte sisters as modern-day Haworth hairdressers and Anne as a political blogger, Bush shows rather more “respect, but not reverence” in her nimble adaptation, eschewing a narrator in favour of letting Zoe Waterman’s cast of actor-musicians crack on with telling the story with a purposeful stride to rival Suranne Jones’s Anne Lister in Gentleman Jack.

Bush had first been offered Emily’s Wuthering Heights, but she was happier to accept the second invitation of sibling Charlotte’s Jane Eyre. “I’m just really drawn to Jane both as a character and a figure,” she reasoned. “I love her determination to take control of her destiny.”

Bush’s Jane Eyre, as characterised by Eleanor Sutton with her scraped-back hair, is a no-nonsense, unbending Yorkshire woman of exacting standards, passionate and impatient, no respecter of authority but resolute in observing her own moral code.

Playwright Chris Bush

From orphaned childhood, she is in a hurry, on a mission, so much so that Bush suddenly stops a play so quick out of the traps that she decides it needs a refresher course in one of those “not reverent” insertions from the Bush playbook of playwriting.

Somewhat against the grain of a Bronia Housman design aesthetic that conveys Bronte’s harsh world by favouring minimalism to keep the scene-changing to a minimum, the pace to the maximum and Nao Nagai’s lighting to the fore, much emphasis is placed Simon Slater’s compositions and sound design rooted in “19th century pop hits” in the spirit of a folk musical or a Brecht and Weill play with music.

They serve the purpose of propelling a story of complexity yet clarity forward, or providing time to catch breath, but their profusion is counter-productive, ultimately slowing down this all-action, vibrant Jane Eyre, by contrast with Sally Cookson’s exhilarating, breathless production for the Bristol Old Vic/National Theatre that toured York and Leeds in 2017.

Like Cookson, Waterman has employed a multi role-playing cast, save for Sutton’s ever-resourceful, clever and fiery Jane Eyre and Sam Jenkins-Shaw’s restless, troubled Rochester, whose burgeoning chemistry climaxes in a beautiful, moving  finale.

Nia Gandhi, Sarah Groarke and Zoe West throw up their hands in Jane Eyre. Picture: Tony Bartholomew

There is much to enjoy in the ensemble interplay of Tomi Ogbaro, Nia Gandhi, Zoe West and Sarah Groarke’s constant changes of character or returning with instrument in hand, the fleet-footed flow being aided by Will Tuckett’s movement direction.

Bush’s way with words elicits passion, shards of wit, nuggety northern nous, poetic darkness and light too, and amid the proto-feminist zeal, she highlights the mistreatment and lack of understanding of Bertha, the “mad woman in the attic”.

By having Sutton transform from Jane into Bertha with a loosening of her hair and a change of body shape, Bush makes a link between the two women, one whose free spirit cannot be contained despite the rigid class structure, the other forcibly restrained with terrible consequences.

Should you miss this week’s 7.30pm performances, tomorrow’s 1.30pm matinee or Saturday’s 2.30pm show, a second chance to breathe in this fresh Jane Eyre comes at the New Vic Theatre, Newcastle-under-Lyme, from May 4 to 28. For more details of the SJT’s Bronte Festival, including Stute Theatre’s I Am No Bird in The McCarthy, today until Saturday, head to:

More Things To Do in and around York, where studios are opening up for spring inspection. List No. 76, from The Press

Kimbal Bumstead: one of 30 new participants in York Open Studios

NOW is the chance to go around the houses, the studios and workshops too, as recommended by Charles Hutchinson on his art beat.

Art event of the week and next week too: York Open Studios, today and tomorrow; April 9 and 10, 10am to 5pm

AFTER 2021’s temporary move to July, York Open Studios returns to its regular spring slot, promising its biggest event ever with more than 150 artists and makers in 100-plus workshops, home and garden studios and other creative premises.

Thirty new participants have been selected by the event organisers. As ever, York Open Studios offers the chance to talk to artists, look around where they work and buy works.

Artists’ work encompasses painting and print, illustration, drawing and mixed media, ceramics, glass and sculpture, jewellery, textiles, photography and installation art. Check out the artists’ directory listings and the locations map at or pick up a booklet around York.

Caius Lee: Pianist for York Musical Society’s Rossini concert

Classical concert of the week: York Musical Society, Rossini’s Petite Messe Solennelle, St Peter’s School Memorial Hall, York, tonight, 7.30pm

DAVID Pipe conducts York Musical Society in a performance of Gioachino Rossini’s last major work, Petite Messe Solennelle, composed when his friend Countess Louise Pillet-Will commissioned a solemn mass for the consecration of a private chapel in March 1864.

After Rossini deemed it to be a ‘poor little mass’, the word ‘little’ (petite) has become attached to the title, even though the work is neither little nor particularly solemn. Instead, the music ranges from hushed intensity to boisterous high spirits.

Caius Lee, piano, Valerie Barr, accordion, Katie Wood, soprano, Emily Hodkinson, mezzo-soprano, Ed Lambert, tenor, and Stuart O’Hara, bass, perform it tonight. Box office:

Bingham String Quartet: Programme of Beethoven, Schnittke, LeFanu and Tippett works

Late news: York Late Music, Stuart O’Hara and Ionna Koullepou, 1pm today; Bingham String Quartet, 7.30pm tonight, St Saviourgate Unitarian Chapel, York

BASS Stuart O’Hara and pianist Ionna Koullepou play a lunchtime programme of no fewer than eight new settings of York and regional poets’ works by York composers.

In the evening, the Bingham String Quartet perform Beethoven’s String Quartet in B-flat major, Schnittke’s String Quartet No 3, York composer Nicola LeFanu’s String Quartet No 2 and Tippett’s String Quartet No 2. Box office: or on the door.

The poster for York Blues Festival 2022

A dose of the blues: York Blues Festival 2022, The Crescent, York, today, bands from 1pm to 11pm

YORK Blues Festival returns for a third celebration at The Crescent community venue after two previous sell-outs. On the bill will be Tim Green Band; Dust Radio; Jed Potts & The Hillman Hunters; TheJujubes; Blue Milk; DC Blues; Five Points Gang and Redfish.

For full details, go to: Box office:

The Howl & The Hum: Sunday headliners at YorkLife in Parliament Street

Free community event of the weekend: YorkLife, Parliament Street, York, today and tomorrow, 11am to 9pm

YORK’S new spring festival weekend showcases the city’s musicians, performers, comedians and more besides today and tomorrow. Organised by Make It York, YorkLife sees more than 30 performers and organisations head to Parliament Street for this free event with no tickets required in advance.

York’s Music Venue Network presents Saturday headliners Huge, Sunday bill-toppers The Howl & The Hum, plus Bull; Kitty VR; Flatcap Carnival; Hyde Family Jam;  Floral Pattern; Bargestra and Wounded Bear.

Workshops will be given by: Mud Pie Arts: Cloud Tales, interactive storytelling; Thunk It Theatre, Build Our City theatre; Gemma Wood, York Skyline art; Fantastic Faces, face painting;  Henry Raby, from Say Owt, spoken poetry; Matt Barfoot, drumming; Christian Topman, ukulele; Polly Bennet, Little Vikings PQA York, performing arts, and Innovation Entertainment, circus workshops.  Look out too for the York Mix Radio quiz; York Dance Space’s dance performance and Burning Duck Comedy Club’s comedy night. 

Oi Frog & Friends!: Laying down the rules at York Theatre Royal

Children’s show of the week: Oi Frog & Friends!, York Theatre Royal, Monday, 1.30pm and 4.30pm; Tuesday, 10.30am and 1.30pm

ON a new day at Sittingbottom School, Frog is looking for a place to sit, but Cat has other ideas and Dog is happy to play along. Cue multiple rhyming rules and chaos when Frog is placed in in charge. 

Suitable for age three upwards, Oi Frog & Friends! is a 55-minute, action-packed play with original songs, puppets, laughs and “more rhyme than you can shake a chime at”.

This fun-filled musical has been transferred to the stage by Emma Earle, Zoe Squire, Luke Bateman and Richy Hughes from Kes Gray and Jim Field’s picture books. Box office: 01904 623568 or at

Mother and son: Niki Evans as Mrs Johnstone and Sean Jones as Mickey in Willy Russell’s Blood Brothers, returning to the Grand Opera House, York

Musical of the week: Blood Brothers, Grand Opera House, York, Tuesday to Saturday

AFTER a three-year hiatus, Sean Jones has returned to playing scally Mickey in Willy Russell’s fateful musical account of Liverpool twins divided at both, stretching his involvement to a 23rd year at impresario Bill Kenwright’s invitation in what is billed as his “last ever tour” of Blood Brothers.

Back too, after a decade-long gap, is Niki Evans in the role of Mickey and Eddie’s mother, Mrs Johnstone.

Blood Brothers keeps on returning to the Grand Opera House, invariably with Jones to the fore. If this year really is his Blood Brothers valedictory at 51, playing a Scouse lad from the age of seven once more, thanks, Sean, for all the years of cheers and tears. Box office: 0844 871 7615 or

May in April: Imelda May plays York Barbican for a third time on April 6

York gig of the week: Imelda May, Made To Love Tour, York Barbican, Wednesday, 7.30pm

IRISH singer-songwriter and poet Imelda May returns to York Barbican for her third gig there in the only Yorkshire show of her first major UK tour in more than five years.

“I cannot wait to see you all again, to dance and sing together, to connect and feel the sparkle in a room where music makes us feel alive and elevated for a while,” says Imelda. “A magical feeling we can only get from live music. Let’s go!”

Her sixth studio album, last April’s 11 Past The Hour, will be showcased and she promises poetry too. Box office:

Corruption and sloth: English Touring Opera in Rimsky-Korsakov’s The Golden Cockerel

At the treble: English Touring Opera at York Theatre Royal, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday, 7.30pm

ENGLISH Touring Opera present three performances in four nights, starting with Bach’s intense vision of hope, St John Passion, on Wednesday, when professional soloists and baroque specialists the Old Street Band combine with singers from York choirs.

La Boheme, Puccini’s operatic story of a poet falling in love with a consumptive seamstress, follows on Friday; the residency concludes with Rimsky-Korsakov’s The Golden Cockerel, a send-up of corruption and sloth in government that holds up a mirror to the last days of the Romanovs. Box office: 01904 623568 or

Eleanor Sutton in the title role in Jane Eyre, opening at the Stephen Joseph Theatre on Friday

Play of the week outside York: Jane Eyre, Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough, Friday to April 30

CHRIS Bush’s witty and fleet-footed adaptation seeks to present Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre to a fresh audience while staying true to the original’s revolutionary spirit.

Using actor-musicians, playful multi-role playing and 19th century pop hits, Zoe Waterman directs this SJT and New Vic Theatre co-production starring Eleanor Sutton as Jane Eyre, who has no respect for authority, but lives by her own strict moral code, no matter what the consequences. Box office: 01723 370541 or

Beth McCarthy: Homecoming gig at The Crescent in May

Welcome home: Beth McCarthy, The Crescent, York, May 2, doors, 7.30pm

BETH McCarthy will play a home-city gig for the first time since March 2019 at The Crescent community venue.

Beth, singer, songwriter and BBC Radio York evening show presenter, has moved from York to London, since when she has drawn 4.8 million likes and 300,000 followers on TikTok and attracted 465,000 monthly listeners and nine million plays of her She Gets The Flowers on Spotify. Box office:

Oh, and one other thing

MODFATHER Paul Weller’s gig on Tuesday at York Barbican has sold out.

24 acts in six days adds up to the first Live For St Leonard’s music festival fundraiser

Jonny & The Dunebugs: Topping the Live For St Leonard’s bill on September 24

THE debut Live For St Leonard’s fundraising music festival will take place over six days as part of York Food & Drink Festival 2021.

This charity event in aid of St Leonard’s Hospice will feature 24 live performances by musicians from York and the surrounding area, such as The Y Street Band, KissKissKill, Leather ’O, The Moths, Jonny & The Dunebugs and The Rusty Pegs.

The festivities will be held between 5pm and 9pm each evening in the event marquee in Parliament Street, where food and drink will be available from Food & Drink Festival participants.

Penny Whispers’ Harry Bullen and Terri-Ann Prendergast , who will be performing on September 23

All the live music events are free to attend, and St Leonard’s staff and volunteers will be collecting donations during the performances. Donations also can be made online via the  Just Giving page at:

The music acts have been arranged by Chris Bush, York BID’s business manager, whose time has been donated by York BID in support of the York Food & Drink Festival. “We have a sensational line-up of bands and solo artists that’s not to be missed,” he says.

“As a fellow musician, it’s so encouraging to see so many talented individuals enthused to get involved and do their bit for charity. I’m confident we can raise a considerable sum. It’s also a pleasure to be supporting both York Food & Drink Festival and St Leonard’s Hospice, which are two enormously valuable organisations for our city.”

Leather ‘O: Booked in for an 8pm slot on September 19

Michael Hjort, creative director of York Food & Drink Festival, says: “It’s a long-standing ambition of the festival to be active in the early evening and encourage those in the city during the day to stay on.

“Live music is a great way of doing this and at the same time we get to raise money for a great charity. We’re thrilled by the acts coming to play for Live for St Leonard’s.”

Emma Johnson, chief executive at St Leonard’s Hospice, says: “We’re delighted that Chris and the York Food & Drink Festival have chosen to support us with this fantastic event. It’s through the generosity of people in our community that we can continue to provide the best quality of end of care and support. Every donation really does make a difference to our patients and their families.”

The Live For St Leonard’s poster artwork

Here is the Live For St Leonard’s line-up:

Friday, September 17
5pm, Joshua Murray;
6pm, Bryony Drake;
7pm, Big Bad Blues Band;
8pm, The Y Street Band.

Saturday, September 18

5pm, Tri-Starrs;
6pm, Phil Hooley;
7pm, Zak Ford;
8pm, KissKissKill.

Sunday, September 19
5pm, Simon Snaize;
6pm, Joshua Murray;
7pm, White Sail;
8pm, Leather ‘O.

Gary Stewart: Opening act on September 24

Thursday, September 23
5pm, TBC;
6pm, Clive;
7pm, Penny Whispers;
8pm, The Moths.

Friday, September 24
5pm, Gary Stewart;
6pm, Fahrenheit V;
7pm, Andy Doonan;
8pm, Jonny & The Dunebugs.

Saturday, September 25
5pm, Jack Parker;
6pm, Miles Salter;
7pm, Smith n Wallace;
8pm, The Rusty Pegs.

The Rusty Pegs: The closing act for Live For St Leonard’s on September 25