Sunday, 20 September 2015

The Ghost Of You Walks

If he were the proprietor of a High Street shop, he could quite legitimately hang a business sign above his door stating something along the lines of - 'Richard Thompson: Making Other Singer/Songwriters and Guitarists Look Pretty Ordinary Since 1968'. On Friday evening Richard Thompson (fronting his Electric Trio) did just that, throughout an incendiary set that touched on all periods of his long career. Highlights? Blimey, now you're asking. '1952 Vincent Black Lightning' never, ever gets old and was utterly spectacular. 'Beatnik Walking' one of several treats from his latest LP, 'Still'. 'Did She Jump or Was She Pushed?', possibly the only song from 'Shoot Out the Lights' I'd never previously seen him perform in concert. A totally inspired cover of beat classic 'Take a Heart' by The Sorrows as a final encore. Best of all though, was a frankly staggering reading of 'Hard on Me' (originally issued on 'Mock Tudor' in 1999) in which Thompson's extended solo was beyond comparison with any other guitar-slinger that I've ever come across and should more realistically be musically likened to how it must have felt to experience John Coltrane in full flight.


I recently flicked through an article that rated all of Richard Thompson's solo LP's in reverse order and was marginally horrified to read that the author had ranked the 1996 double album 'You? Me? Us?' as his worst. I couldn't tell you offhand what title I'd put at the bottom of the heap, the man's quality threshold is so high, I can tell you that it wouldn't be 'You? Me? Us?' though. Fortunately for those punters sitting in my vicinity, Richard Thompson didn't play 'The Ghost Of You Walks' on Friday evening, because If he had, there wouldn't have been a dry eye in my little corner of the house.



9 comments:

John Medd said...

I hope he did When the Spell is Broken. I usually break down uncontrollably whenever he plays it live.

charity chic said...

He is indeed a God like Genius
Have only seen him the once and he was quite magnificant

Singing Bear said...

I'm missing this tour and seems I've made another mistake. I'd have loved to have heard 'Hard On Me', which I don't think I've heard him play since the original Mock Tudor tour. 'You? Me? Us?' is a bit a strange one - some really great songs there but maybe a double was stretching it too far? Just a thought. My least favourite RT solo album has always been 'Across A Crowded Room' but it's still miles better than anything else most can achieve. It's all relative. Haven't bought 'Still' yet - how does it rank?

FurryBootsCityBoy said...

Take a Heart is a great 60's song - one of my all-time favourites and I'd love to hear RT perform it.

Brian said...

High praise, Swede, and I'm sure well deserved. Sounds like an unforgettable night. My face must be green with all the envy I feel.

The Swede said...

John. No 'Spell is Broken' this time around, but I know exactly what you mean.

CC. I've been lucky enough to have seen him 7 or 8 times over the years and rarely in the same permutation twice - big band, small band, solo & duo. There were some mutterings in the foyer after the show about the current line-up - they're a real power trio at times - and the setlist, but the man and his band simply didn't put a foot wrong. He's worth checking out again and again because you really don't know what you're likely to get, but you can pretty much guarantee that it'll be fantastic.

Singing Bear. I've been enjoying the new album a lot. As Mojo pointed out, if it had been made by a young artist they'd have been hailed as the next big thing, but Thompson's standards are so high that the quality of 'Still' is considered par for the course.

FurryBootsCityBoy. Thanks for dropping by. He's also featured Otis Blackwell's 'Daddy Rollin' Stone' as a final encore of a couple of shows. The guy has taste!

Brian. He's well worth shelling out for if he plays a town near you!

Vintage Spins said...
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Walter said...

Just got aware that he will play next Monday at my place and I am trying to get a ticket for the show. Hope it get's true to see him once again.Seems like an unforgettable night ahead. I'm excited to get this come true.

Verity said...

I'm old so I've always been aware of him but it wasn't until Rumour and Sigh that I properly came to know him. That's a great album but was less impressed with Mock Tudor. Since then I've been a fitful follower. Liked his BBC show with Loudon Wainwright (incidentally an unsung genius) and Suzanne Vega and I've just bought his acoustic classics album, so I'm back on track.

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