Tuesday, 22 September 2015

Review: Richard Thompson and The Electric Trio

Richard Thompson is hailed as a songwriter of extra-ordinary skill and he is a recipient of a BBC Lifetime Achievement Award and Mojo's Les Paul Award. Thompson was also appointed OBE in the 2011 New Year's Honours List and the Americana Music Association recently honoured him with a Lifetime Achievement Award for Songwriting. Other top music artistes such as Robert Plant, REM, Elvis Costello, Bonnie Raitt, Patty Lovelace, Los Lobos, David Byrne, Don Henley,Tom Jones and many others have been proud to record Thompson's songs. He and his band, The Richard Thompson Electric Trio, are currently three quarters of the way through a national tour which ends on 20th September at The Royal Festival Hall in London.

Having released his latest album Still produced by Jeff Tweedy in June 2015 and out on the Proper Records label, renowned guitarist and songwriter Richard Thompson and his band are on top form. The line up is Thompson as guitar and vocals, Davey Faragher on bass and Michael Jerome on drums. An eagerly anticipated gig at Nottingham's Royal Concert Hall this fine evening on Saturday 12th September sees them wowing an appreciative audience with new tracks from the album as well as older material of six decades of his music. His undoubted skills as an extraordinary musician and 'genre defying mastery of both the acoustic and electric guitar' (to quote his website) will certainly cement his place in music history if tonight's gig and tight set is anything to go by. Thompson has the energy of a forty year old at the top of his game despite the true nature of his age and musical legacy begun in the early years of the folk rock group Fairport Convention that he co-founded as a talented teenager in the 1960s.

From the new folk rock album fans get 'She Could Never Resist A Winding Road, Beatnik Walking, Patty Don't You Put Me Down, Broken Doll, Where's Your Heart, and the stylistically varied guitar hero tribute number, Guitar Heroes. In a set that never seems like it is going to end (in a good way) Thompson and his band prove just how musically flexible they are with songs that vary in tone and mood such as Beeswing to 1952 Vincent Black Lightening. With a full evening's entertainment and fine support by thirty-five year old Johnny Borrell of Razorlight the fans go home ecstatic after three curtain calls and three standing ovations.

It is no surprise that Rolling Stone called Thompson 'The finest rock songwriter after Dylan and the best electric guitarist after Hendrix'. Tonight's concert at Nottingham's Royal Concert Hall sent Thompson's audience home buzzing and eager to purchase his excellent new chart topping CD Still if they don't already own it amongst his massive body of work (over 40 albums) and consider it one of their prized possessions.

Originally written for Nottingham Live. 12th September 2015

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