Richard Thompson – The Forum, Bath

Two years after last seeing Richard Thompson at the forum I was back for another performance, this time in support of the newly released Acoustic Classics album. Nepotism played a major part in the selection of The Rails as support, given that it comprises Richard’s daughter Kami along with her husband. Whilst I’m sure they were very good, I just found them incredibly dull.

All was forgiven when the main act himself took to the stage, and armed with just an acoustic guitar made his way through a 90 minute or so set which included much of the aforementioned Acoustic Classics, other songs from the extensive back-catalog, and some work in progress for the 14-18 Now project.

The final song of the night saw The Rails return to the stage to join in on a track from a forthcoming Thompson family album due to be released next year.

Bathsheba Smiles
Saving The Good Stuff For You
God Loves A Drunk
Jonny’s Far Away
Fergus Lang
1952 Vincent Black Lightning
Sunset Song
I Want To See The Bright Lights Tonight
Genesis Hall
Good Things Happen To Bad People
Hope You Like The New Me
Read About Love
14-18 Now – work in progress
Wall Of Death
Dimming Of The Day
I Feel So Good

Ghosts In The Wind
One Door Opens

That’s Enough (with The Rails)

Richard Thompson – Corn Exchange, Cambridge

The ticket for this was a slightly belated 40th birthday present which is why I headed across country to Cambridge on a Sunday, rather than taking the much shorter trip to Bristol on the night before.

Support came from Robert Ellis with a mixture of Folk and Country music, who played a 30 minute set before promising that we were in for a treat with the main act.

The main act was appearing as a band, or “Power Trio” as Richard later described it, rather than solo tonight. Alongside Richard Thompson were Michael Jerome and Taras Prodaniuk, as seen on the last few albums and tours. The set kicked off with a few songs from the new album, Electric, and then mixed in a fair selection of older tracks for the remainder of the set. The first encore included a sing-along call-response version of Little Sally Racket, the second a rather rough and ready cover of White Room by Cream before the finishing off with some more audience participation in Tear Stained Letter.

Stuck on the Treadmill
Sally B
Salford Sunday
For Shame of Doing Wrong
My Enemy
Can’t Win
Easy There, Steady Now
Al Bowlly’s in Heaven
Good Things Happen to Bad People
Sidney Wells
Did She Jump or was She Pushed
Never Give it Up
Wall of Death
If Love Whispers Your Name

Stony Ground
Little Sally Racket

Saving the Good Stuff for You
White Room (Cream)
Tear Stained Letter

Richard Thompson – The Forum, Bath

A solo show tonight as part of the Bath Guitar Festival. We were treated to a near two hour set including a couple of encores. Richard even fitted in a few requests, not always entirely successfully though, with some help needed from members of the audience when he forgot the words to Cold Kisses part way through. A final rendition of Down Where the Drunkards Roll and he left the stage as the lights came up, then it was time to walk home again.

From piecing together someone else’s review I obviously mixed up the encores and I think the setlist was as follows:

When the Spell is Broken
Walking on a Wire
Haul me Up
Johnny’s Far Way
Cold Kisses (request)
1952 Vincent Black Lightning
Who Knows Where the Time Goes
Good Things Happen to Bad People
Saving the Good Stuff for You
Crawl Back (Under My Stone)
Dog Eat Dog in Denmark
The Sun Never Shines on the Poor
Wall of Death
I Misunderstood
She Twists the Knife Again

Keep Your Distance (request)
Down Where the Drunkards Roll

Time to Ring Some Changes
Dimming of the Day

Richard Thompson Band – Colston Hall, Bristol

A full band line-up tonight, rather than the solo outing where I last saw Richard Thompson, the recent recipient of an O.B.E. The first half of the evening was an almost-complete run through the latest album, Dream Attic, omitting only a few tracks. After a quick trip to the bar for refreshments it was back for the second half and a selection of some of the older hits. The first track was from Henry the Human Fly, apparently the worst selling Warner Brothers album of all time. There were solos from each of the performers interwoven into the songs, and the obligatory audience participation during Tear Stained Letter.

A respectably early finish of 22:15 left us with the climb back up to the lofty heights of the top of the car park before the drive back home again.

The Money Shuffle
Among the Gorse, Among the Grey
Haul Me Up
Burning Man
Here Comes Geordie
Demons in Her Dancing Shoes
Big Sun Falling in the River
Sidney Wells
A Brother Slips Away
If Love Whispers Your Name

The Angels Took My Racehorse Away
Can’t Win
One Door Opens
Al Bowlly’s in Heaven
Never Give it Up
Wall of Death
Tear Stained Letter

Take Care the Road You Choose
A Man in Need

Fairport’s Cropredy Convention 2009 – Cropredy

This year we did the full three-days at Cropredy, heading up on the Thursday morning for the 4pm start. The weather was a lot better this year, sunny on Thursday and Saturday, and overcast on the Friday. Due to this I came home with a sunburn rather than soaking wet kit which made a nice change from last year.

A few brief comments on the bands.

Harlequin – Too much talking, and too much Michael Jackson
4 Square – Good
Ken Nichol and Phil Cool – Rubber Faced Irritant
Buzzcocks – Raucous, load, shouty, fantastic
Steve Winwood – No idea, I went to bed

ColvinQuarmby – Irritatingly over-enthusiastic twat, death by jazz-hands.
Megan and Joe Henwood – Good
Scott Matthews – Thom Yorke does folk, badly.
The Bad Shepherds – Fantastic
John Jorgensen Band – Fret-wank frenzy
The Dodge Brothers – Skiffle-tastic
Richard Thompson – Superb
Seth Lakeman – Accomplished

Richard Digence – The usual songs, the usual jokes. Amusing start to the day
Churchfitters – Eclectic selection of instruments
Feast of Fiddles – What a lot of fiddlers
Dreadzone – Sunny fun, very good, fitted in surprisingly well.
Nik Kershaw – We now know who is to blame for Chesney Hawkes.
Ralph McTell – Good, played his one hit fairly early on.
Fairport Convention & Friends – Very good as always, guest spots from Yusuf, Richard Thompson and others.

Cropredy 2009 photos

Richard Thompson – 1000 Years of Popular Music – Derngate, Northampton

A musical tour through history tonight, courtesy of Richard Thompson, ably assisted by Judith Owen and and Debra Donkin. Richard arrived on-stage complete with a Hurdy-Gurdy and started things off with a song from 1290 entitled Praise Queen of Heaven. They then spent the next hour covering the period up to 1900, including a few minutes of Opera before which he jokingly asked for all the exits to be locked.

The second half covered 1900 onwards, including rather oddly, Nelly Furtado’s Maneater partly in Latin. The only downside was when a song by "the other west country band" turned out to be "Everybody’s Got to Learn Sometime" by The Korgi’s, rather than anything by the mighty Wurzels.

We even made it back to Stafford before the snow.

Richard Thompson Band – Cambridge Corn Exchange

A fantastic night. Probably the only gig I’ve been to where the seats sold out before the standing area.

I think the setlist was as follows:

Needle and Thread
Bad Monkey
Take Care The Road You Choose
Dad’s Gonna Kill Me
I Still Dream
I Want To See The Bright Lights Tonight
Al Bowlly’s in Heaven
1952 Vincent Black Lightning
Who Knows Where The Time Goes
One Door Opens
I’ll Never Give It Up
Hard on me
Mingulay Boat Song
A Man in Need
Guns Are The Tongues
A Bone Through Her Nose
Wall of Death
Read About Love

Sunset Song
Mr. Stupid

Tear Stained Letter