Richard Hawley’s Shepherd’s Pie, with Henderson’s Relish (Arthur, 2005)


by Richard Hawley

photo by Anton Corbijn

Originally published in Arthur No. 18 (Sept. 2005)

Every time I listen to a Richard Hawley album, I see a late-night TV mail order commercial advertising one of those greatest hits cds by a long-gone-pop country crossover artist, or Neil Diamond, or Sinatra or some other smooth-for-the-ladies-and-blue-for-the-gents crooner/operator with a bag full of hits that just keep scrolling, , every fourth title being performed in a vaselined alcoholic cloud haze. Of course the proudly English Hawley is of the here and now, not in some distant UHF-for-mobile-home-seniors past, but his golden grained croon, accompanied by strings, organ and the kind of beautifully reverbed guitar figures Chris Isaak used to budget for, is the kind of thing I bet  my grandparents would dig too. Hawley’s latest is Coles Corner, out this autumn on Mute, and it’s another slow burner of languid, sentimental-romantic  music about Sunday afternoons by the seaside and Sunday evenings at the bar (or, I guess, pub): those times and places where people—of all ages—love, lose and laugh again, often to music like this. (Jay Babcock)

Richard Hawley: I used to be in a band called Longpigs in the mid/late ‘90s. We got on the U2 tour ‘round USA which was boss and got to play Giants Stadium and all that. That all went fine, even though we were probably getting a bit too recreational. You can go a bit mad on the back of a tour bus with only yourselves for company. Anyway, we were pretty glad when the tour was coming to an end and heading back to Britain to see our families. It didn’t work out quite as straightforward as that, though, as we got offered the Echo and the Bunnymen tour of USA at the last minute. They are one of my all-time favourite bands—Mac is a lovely bloke and Will Sargeant is one of the all-time great guitarists. So we stayed and did that tour—and another immediately after, with Oasis. It ended up we were touring the States for two and a half years, only going home about four times.

The whole thing ended up being really destructive and we were all mindless gibbering wrecks when we went home to our loved ones. I got back to Sheffield, out of my mind on drugs and drink and burnt out and bewildered at finally being home. I couldn’t believe I was there—even though I could see all my home town sites: the pubs, the shops, etc.—I was living in a blur. 

I arrived at our house completely numb. When I got in, our lass had cooked tea (that’s dinner to you Americans): shepherd’s pie, with green beans and gravy. I sat down at the table and poured Henderson’s (we call it Hendo’s) all over the food and took a mouth full. As soon as I tasted it I began to cry and couldn’t stop. Henderson’s is made in Sheffield—we have it on everything—everyone does—right since we were kids. But you only get it in Sheffield, nowhere else, so as soon as I tasted it I knew I was home—finally.

I dedicated my first mini-album to Henderson’s cus I feel like they helped save me—well, and because its a condiment for life —everyone in Sheffield has their Christmas pictures when they are kids, all sat round the table for Christmas dinner, and always there’s a bottle of Henderson’s in the middle of the table.

My highest accolade so far is Henderson’s making a special edition ‘Richard Hawley’s Henderson’s.’ When he saw it, my Dad said, “Now you’ve made it, lad.”

4 large carrots

2 onions

20oz potatoes

2 tablespoons chives

4.5 oz. mince meat (or TVP)

Vegetable stock

salt/pepper to taste

Henderson’s relish

Pre heat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Boil the potatoes and mash them. Slice and boil the carrots. Dice the onions and lightly fry. Add the mince to the onions in the frying pan then add vegetable stock or gravy. Simmer for five mins. Add chives and salt/pepper.

In a large oven proof dish, add the onion/mince mixture. Top this first with a thick layer of carrots, and finally with the mashed potatoes.

Bake for 30 mins until the potatoes are browned.

Serve with steamed broccoli, broad beans or your favorite vegetables. Finally, and most importantly, coat with Henderson’s Relish (unfortunately only available via mail order from their factory in Sheffield; info at