LIVE: Richard Thompson @ The Egg, 10/12/14
Review by Erin Harkes
Photographs by Rudy Lu
I would never listen to Richard Thompson on Pandora or Spotify. I would probably end up being insulted by whomever they pick to be similar music. Because in my opinion, nothing compares to Richard Thompson.
As a professional musician, I never take a night off of work. No ‘vacation leave’ or ‘sick time’ when you’re self employed. But when Richard Thompson comes to town, I am there.
For his solo concert at The Egg last Saturday evening, he started softly with “Stony Ground” and “The Ghost of You Walks” before blasting us with “Valerie” in a manner that would make you think the concert was over – it was an encore caliber rendition. “Saving the Good Stuff For You” is one of his newer songs yet is reminiscent of a traditional Irish tune. It was my first time hearing it, and yet I was singing it to myself later that night.
The rest of the show was a roller coaster of emotion. The hilarity of “Johnny’s Far Away” and “Fergus Lang” coupled with his witty banter in between songs is such a drastic contrast to the dark tones of “Hope You Like the New Me” and Fairport Convention’s “Genesis Hall.” “Persuasion” and “Beeswing” made mist of my eyes; I’m jealous of how prolific he is and of whoever his inspiration is.
He asked the audience’s permission to share his latest project, British 14-18 NOW, which commemorates the centennial of World War I. He is putting to music the correspondence from soldiers to their families during that time and explained beforehand that he would not change any of the words to suit the music. The task seems arduous, but from the three-song selection teaser, I could tell it will be a flawless and emotive tribute.
I know it’s a coincidence that Richard Thompson comes to town right around my birthday, but I can’t help feeling it’s the universe’s gift to me. This time around I got to go backstage for a meet-and-greet thanks to a very generous gift from an amazing friend. He even sang a few bars of “Happy Birthday” to me before I stopped him. I thought I might have passed out otherwise…
RICHARD THOMPSON SET LIST
The Ghost of You Walks
Saving the Good Stuff for You
Johnny’s Far Away
1952 Vincent Black Lightning
Dry My Tears and Move On
I Want to See the Bright Lights Tonight
Genesis Hall (Fairport Convention)
Good Things Happen to Bad People
Hope You Like the New Me
Read About Love
(Three selections from a larger work for the 14-18 NOW project commemorating the WWI centennial)
Wall of Death
I Feel So Good
THE MASTERSONS SET LIST
If I Wanted To
I Found You
The Other Show
Good Luck Charm