Wednesday 21 March 2018


Rock Richard Thompson Vicar St, Dublin

Eamon Sweeney

Eamon Sweeney

While not as common­place as political dynasties, there are a handful of musical families who've exerted an extraordinary influence on popular music, such as the Cashs, Carters, Wainwrights, McGarrigles, Marleys, Coltranes and the Thompsons.

Richard Thompson is the original of the species and a former member of legendary folk troupe Fairport Convention.

Artists who have tackled his work include the diverse likes of Christy Moore, REM and The Blind Boys of Alabama.

For his troubles, Thompson has been hailed not only as the best songwriter since Dylan, but also the finest guitarist since Hendrix.

While some of this is undoubtedly flamboyant fan-boy generated hype, Thompson has a terrific voice and delivers a stirring version of the opening track, 'That's Enough', and its pertinent refrain, "We still keep falling for the same old lies. Times are tough and that's enough."

Smartly clad in a black beret, Thompson has a commanding stage presence and an absolutely cracking backing band.

Drummer Michael Jerome is a joy to watch, while the bassist has served stints alongside Elvis Costello, and even looks like a younger version of the 'Oliver's Army' singer.

Richard is delighted with the fact that his 16th solo album, Still, became an unlikely top 10 hit earlier this summer. "Not bad for a folk rock fossil like me," he quips.

While he is a remarkable guitarist, as the performance grinds on, the show suffers from a uniformity of tone, which eventually gets rather grating.

Thompson is as accomplished as they come with decades of experience, but a bit more variety in his fancy guitar fret work would go a long way, plus really bring his "fossilised" folk rock to life.

Irish Independent

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