Her Majesty’s Theatre, Thu Mar 5
Richard Thompson straps on his acoustic guitar and gently launches into I Misunderstood. He’s providing his own support act and, given that there’s no-one else that the audience is really interested in seeing tonight, it seems an inspired decision. He plays eight songs in a set that lasts around 40 minutes, the highlights being the opening number, fan-favourite 1952 Vincent Black Lightning and Sandy Denny’s/Fairport Convention’s Who Knows Where The Time Goes?.
As he plays, the anticipation of seeing him in electric mode fades slightly; such is the beauty of his songwriting and his mastery of the acoustic guitar. He doesn’t say much, but it’s obvious that he’s in good humour, finishing his solo set by announcing that he has to make way for his “other self”.
After the interval, Thompson and the other members of Electric Trio – Taras Prodaniuk (bass) and Michael Jerome (drums) – serve up over an hour of genre-spanning music. The band presents a showcase that provides audience members with glimpses of the past and of the future, and of musicianship of the highest calibre, as they dip into Thompson’s vast canon of works. The novel aspect of Guitar Heroes allows Thompson and his fans to enjoy a trip into the respective musical worlds of Django Reinhardt, Chuck Berry, Les Paul, James Burton and Hank Marvin.
Thompson’s electric guitar playing is second to none and this line up, with these arrangements, allows him to express himself and his talents fully. The set is littered with jewels, and I’ll Never Give It Up, the big-sounding Can’t Win, replete with consummate soloing, and the haunting closer, If Love Whispers Your Name, stand out.
A three-song encore leaves Thompson’s devotees standing, applauding, and just about sated, but many would have been happy to stay all night.