Richard Thompson @ Vicar St, Dublin. 24/07/2006

It’s probably unforgivable to mention it, but this was my first time to see the legendary Richard Thompson perform live and it was a truly wonderful exhilarating, experience, exceeding all expectations. From the minute he arrived on stage for this solo performance his every move was exciting, captivating and a delightful buzz.

Since bringing home the LP Unhalfbricking, I have admired the amazing guitar talent of this excellent singer songwriter since the early seventies as he left his trademark magic on his own compositions and in particular for me his superb cover versions of Dylan and Townshend songs and other contemporary writers and his fresh and exciting take on his traditional influences.

Starting off at school with Hugh Cornwell of Stranglers fame and moving on to form Fairport Convention his career has defined all that is good in Tradition Folk and Rock n Roll over the past forty years.

Born on the 3rd April 1949 and regarded as the musician’s musician, each song is a proficient sophisticated gem embellished with stellar guitar skill. Ranked in the top 100 guitarists of all time in Rolling Stone magazine his highly acclaimed live performances are consistently rated as compelling, creating an atmosphere rich and warm for the audience.

When The Spell Is Broken cast the night’s set afloat featuring all the trademark delights, right hand tri-bred picking at times creating a cacophony of riffs and phrases with effortless ease employing a full range of dynamic hard and soft, picking and strumming.

All the classic songs were given an airing at the request of the audience, Shoot Out The Lights, Valerie, Jimmy Shands, From Galway to Graceland, Dimming Of The Day, and the huge crowd favourite, 1952 Vincent Black Lightning all delivered in Richards competent workmanlike style.

Richard uses a mix of Standard tuning and DADGAD, tuning the strings as required on stage and going into a vocal performance while replacing a broken string and sharing some jokes with the audience.

“His mother in law fell into the upholstery machine, she’s recovered. Doctor said she is comfortable”.

Richard Thompson is a stunning player to watch and his instrumental excursions are as tight as a ducks back passage.