Speaking to Gigwise, the Sheffield icon and former Pulp guitarist who has previously collaborated with the likes of Elbow and Arctic Monkeys, said that he and frontman James Dean Bradfield clicked after they both contributed songs to Dame Shirley Bassey's 2009 album, The Performance.
"James just rang me," said Hawley. "I’ve respected him for a long time. I love that they stand for something and that they’ve stood by it, unlike a lot of bands and politicians.
"I met James at that Shirley Bassey concert because we both wrote songs for her. I was sat at the side of the stage just watching her and completely in awe then James just came up and tapped me on the shoulder and we just sat together completely enthralled by Ms Bassey. We got chatting afterwards and it turns out that both of our fathers were first-wave teddy boy bikers. You don’t meet many other people like that. It was a shared experience we had of growing up with people who were fairly fucking wild."
Hawley duets with James Dean Bradfield on the upcoming Manic Street Preachers album
Hawley continued: "We got chatting, swapped phone numbers and text each other occasionally but he was off having a family and a break while I was away on the road then he just phoned me and said ‘we’ve written this song and all decided that you have to sing it or it won’t go on the album’. So I just said ‘I can’t let you down’, and it was a great honour. I drove down to Cardiff in a day and it’s a really beautiful song. I play a bit of Hawaiian guitar on it and it’s me and James doing a duet. He sings one part and I sing another.
"Nick wrote the words that I sing and James wrote his bit so it’s a very personal song and I was surprised that Nicky wanted me to sing it, but now that I’ve done it I can see why. It’s quite dramatic and acoustic."
Read our full and candid interview with Richard Hawley discussing Glasto, Pulp, his addiction to pain killers and work with Manic Street Preachers here.
The Manics previously revealed that there were 'two sides' to their new record and that it may come out as a double album - one 'acoustic' and one 'caustic kraut-rock'. They've been recording new material at their own studio in Cardiff and in Hansa studios in Berlin - where David Bowie recorded Heroes.
Manic Street Preachers are set to headline Festival No.6 in September while Richard Hawley will be playing at Graves Park in Sheffield on 13 July, Somerset House in London on 14 July and will be appearing at Camp Bestival between 1 - 4 August.
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