Archive for the ‘Teddy Thompson’ Category

[ATTENDED: January 14, 2023] Teddy Thompson

This was my eleventh time seeing Richard Thompson.  For a while we had been seeing him pretty regularly and then his habits changed.

I had been seeing him every chance I could, but I took a little time off from his tours, hoping that he would perhaps come back with an electric tour.  Sadly for me, he did in fact come around with an electric trio tour in 2018, but it coincided with a hike that we were scheduled to go on, so I had to miss it.

Back in 2020, he introduced a new component to his show, his new partner Zara Philips has been singing with him on many songs (often Richard & Linda Thompson songs, but sometimes adding backing vocals to Richard’s songs.

For a while it felt like Richard was playing the same basic songs at all of his shows, although as I look at his setlists I see that he always mixes in a few new songs every tour.  Indeed, in 2020, he threw in a whole bunch of songs that I hadn’t heard him play before.

I was super excited that he opened with Gethsemane, an older song (I can’t believe that album is 20 years old!) that I like a lot.  He sounded great and his guitar playing was, of course, outstanding.

During the pandemic, Richard released some online albums.  He played If I could Live My Life again from Bloody Noses (which he had played back in 2020, just before the shutdown).

He jokes about the age of the audience and said he would play a song from a Fairport Convention album.  He described the origins of Genesis Hall, and that it was a protest song, which I didn’t know.  He had played it before but not for more than seven or so years, so it was good to hear it again.

Richard recently played a few nights of all request shows in New York City, which I’d love to attend (al though I suspect people probably just request all the popular songs anyhow).   But I wonder if it makes him want to mix up his setlists at all.  Whatever the case it was great to hear him plat “Turning of the Tide” a song that I love and haven’t heard him play live for a long long time.

Then he played “Beeswing.”  I don’t think there’s been a show where he hasn’t played the song and yet this time it really hit me how beautiful it was.  And I was marveling about how Richard Thompson, creator of the song was merely thirty or forty feet away from us playing this song and how amazing it was to be so close to someone so creative.  I had a real moment.  (I’m going to assume it came from talking about how wild it must have been for my young kids to go to concerts and see their favorite bands up close like that, something I never got to do as a a little kid). (more…)

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[ATTENDED: January 14, 2023] Teddy Thompson

This was our first experience with Outpost in the Burbs, a fun venue in Montclair.  The venue is actually in a church (I think it might be outside in the summer).  This Richard Thompson show was sold out.  But the tickets were first come / first seated.  In a church.  So, in a series of pews.

We arrived in what we thought was plenty of time, but we couldn’t find parking and wound up pretty far away, so by the time we got into the church, it was almost 8PM.  We walked in and the lights went down.  Luckily there were announcements to be had (which we missed), as we were sent looking for a seat.  We were told there were seats in the balcony, so we trudged up the stairs to the (very full) balcony.  We headed back down, having seen seats across the room.  We headed over there only to discover that these seats (strangely empty) ere positioned directly behind two massive speaker cabinets which entirely blocked the stage–thus, why they were empty.  Really they should not have even been available.

Luckily, right next to them was a pew bench against the wall that had a mostly unobstructed view of Teddy as he came out on stage.  If he backed away from the mic I couldn’t see him at all, but he didn’t do that very often so it was fine. In fact, it was actually quiet comfortable.  The bench had a cushion, and I was in the corner, so I had a corner edge to lean against.  And, plenty of leg room!

And, it must be said, the acoustics were outstanding, even in this weird eave.

I saw Teddy Thompson open for his father about ten years ago in Princeton.  He played songs from his then new album and sang some songs with his father. (more…)

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[ATTENDED: October 4, 2013] Richard Thompson at the McCarter Theatre

Back again for the (semi) annual Richard Thompson show at the McCarter Theatre.  RT himself said this was his 15th year playing there more or less every year.  And it seems like quite a lot of the concertgoers were multi-year attendees.

This time, Richard Thompson’s son Teddy opened.  About fifteen years ago I saw Teddy open for Richard in Boston.  That set was really enjoyable and I bought Teddy’s debut album.  But I haven’t thought all that much about him since (he has released a number of albums since 2000).

I spent some time at this show thinking about how strange it must be to tour with your father if he is a guitar wizard.  Teddy is not a guitar wizard and doesn’t try to be one.  [There’s an article that I’m going to be posting about in a few days by Jonathan Franzen which  deals with coping with successful fathers, so it was on my mind].  Indeed, in an article from a few years ago, Teddy said that at first he never listened to his parents music because it was folkie and he like rock.  But after a while: “I started to be more aware of how much people loved [my parents],” he said. “When I started doing (music) for a living, I felt, ‘I’m not as good a guitar player as my dad. My voice isn’t as good as my mother’s.'”  His mother is Linda Thompson who does have an amazing voice.  So it must be intimidating to be on with a guy that is so good and so beloved.

But Teddy has a great voice as well (more powerful than Richard’s), he sounds a bit like Neil Finn from Crowded House.  Teddy played about a dozen songs.  I actually didn’t recognize any of them, but I enjoyed them all.   As I said his voice is strong–and is really the selling point, because while the melodies are very good, they are also rather simple.  I don’t know that anything was as catchy as the songs by his dad, but of course plays a very different style of music–a kind of country folk with an occasional hard edge (both Thompsons only played acoustic guitar for this show).

I don’t know what their relationship is like (I always assume that famous (relatively) people’s children hate them.  But it was clear that Richard was proud of his son when he came out.  (more…)

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