Richard Thompson: The Lowry – live review

Richard Thompson © Michael Ainscoe Photography

Richard Thompson
The Lowry
10th March 2013

‘In Salford on Sunday’

How much fate has to play in proceedings it’s not clear. Back at the 2012 BBC Folk Awards held in Salford, The Dubliners received their lifetime achievement award and celebrated with a version of Dirty Old Town, written and made famous by local Salfordian Ewan MacColl. To schedule the final date of Richard Thompson’s current UK tour for Salford on a Sunday evening was rather prophetic too in that it was the perfect place to play Salford Sunday – one of several tracks aired from Thompson’s well received new album Electric. (LTW review)

Already recognised, even by the Queen no less with his 2011 OBE, as a major influence on English music in terms of both his song writing and guitar playing, as Thompson starts to head towards the twilight of his extensive career, his star is burning as brightly as it has ever done. The fact that he is still producing recorded music of such quality as Electric, which is a worthy addition to his body of work, his live performances continue to captivate and engage rapt and sell out audiences. Despite the odd empty seat, a packed audience (including fellow musician Maart Alcock, of Fairport Convention fame amongst many other folk/rock bands, sitting behind us) paid their dues to a true master of the craft. It would be unfair to say he was simply backed by a basic band of Michael Jerome on drums and Taras Prodaniuk on bass, as they added as much to the material to be a band rather than being hired hands as they accompanied Thompson expertly and sympathetically.

rt5

Decked out in his trademark cap and scarf maybe guarding against the chilly night, Thompson was bold enough to open the show with a flurry of songs from the new album, the alliterative trio of Stuck On The Treadmill, Sally B and Salford Sunday, he teased the audience, tongue firmly in cheek about only being there for the stuff from the sixties and seventies. Whatever they were there for, the crystal clear sound filled the Lyric Theatre with Thompson’s distinctive Fender notes. The acoustic guitar came out for a jazzy run through Al Bowlly’s In Heaven with its opening lines of “we were heroes then and the girls were all pretty” being both nostalgic and possibly harking back to earlier days. As a bit of a nod to the folkies, the evening wouldn’t be complete without reference to the usual folk themes of death and murder with the modern murder ballad of lorry driver Sydney Wells – taken in 9/8 time which of course, as a well-informed member of the audience noted, was the timing for a slip jig which appeared at the end of the song.

With the quality of the performance it would be difficult and unjust to pull out highlights but the country tinged rock of Wall Of Death and in particular a marvellous solo acoustic version of his 1991 song (which feels like it should be a much older traditional song), 1952 Vincent Black Lightning. It might not have been worth the ticket price alone but certainly was pretty close and worth a fair proportion. It was a perfect example of holding an audience spellbound by his deft and delicate picking as the lengthy tale unfolded of a simple boy meets girl story, which of course being a folk song, can only end in tragedy.

Finishing with another ‘tongue in cheek’ acknowledgement to the band as a power trio was a run through of the Hendrix classic Hey Joe and a sing along opportunity with Tear Stained Letter. On this continued form the audiences for the forthcoming US shows have a treat in store.

For further images please visit Michael Ainscoe Photography

Categories

Featured Live Reviews

The Author

Words by

Share and comment

4 comments on “Richard Thompson: The Lowry – live review”

Leave a comment?
  1. It’s challenging to uncover knowledgeable persons on this subject, but you sound like you know what you’re talking about! Thanks

    christian louboutin outlet

  2. An impressive share, I just given this onto a colleague who was doing a bit analysis on this. And he the fact is bought me breakfast mainly because I discovered it for him.. smile. So let me reword that: Thnx for the treat! But yeah Thnkx for spending the time to talk about this, I really feel strongly about it and enjoy reading a lot more on this subject. If achievable, as you turn into expertise, would you mind updating your blog with a lot more details? It’s extremely valuable for me. Huge thumb up for this weblog post!

    cheap michael kors bags

  3. Youre so cool! I dont suppose Ive read anything like this ahead of. So nice to uncover somebody with some original thoughts on this subject. realy thank you for beginning this up. this web-site is something that is needed on the internet, someone with a little originality. valuable job for bringing some thing new to the internet!

    michael kors bags on sale

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *