With our new Rockpalast release we dive deeper into the realm of folk rock: RICHARD THOMPSON, top-class guitarist and songwriter extraordinaire, awarded and honored many times, defined the English version of the term folk rock with FAIRPORT CONVENTION before he went on a solo path. Quite a few of his songs like “Down Where The Drunkards Roll” or “1952 Vincent Black Lightning” are regarded as classics by now and have been interpreted by a number of artists of a variety of genres.
Twice the WDR recorded one of his shows, and it is odd that no further invitations occurred. On the 10th of December in 1983, RICHARD THOMPSON and his companions delivered a concert longer than one and a half hour for the Rockpalast which everyone obviously relished. Prominently present is the material of “Hand of Kindness” which was his latest album at the time. Thompson only went without the darkest track of the record: “Devonside” but this track he rarely offers live in general. Also present are four pieces from “Shoot Out The Lights” of which especially the title song impresses with its cynical delivery. Here it seems that Thompson once again remembers his failed relationship with his ex-wife Linda.
Added to the performance are several instrumentals i.e. some old English dance tunes as well as not Thompson classics like the rock’n’roll encores “Great Balls Of Fire” or “Highschool Hop”, always with Simon Nicol at his extraordinary cornflakes guitar. Thompson for his part is working his Fender with his very own pick and pluck technique.
Only six weeks later, the Rockpalast recorded another concert of Richard Thompson on occasion of the MIDEM. The difference between Hamburg and the French Cannes was noticable: A considerable spacious stage and the audience in plush armchairs but with an identical set list minus the encores. Also, the band was only nearly the same. An exception was the rhythm section which now consisted of the also Jethro Tull and much later experienced Fairport Gerry Conway (drums) and the young bass player Rory McFarlane who had his first big chance in Thompson’s band. Nonetheless, two totally convincing performances in which interestingly enough the most unusual piece of the set, the Glenn Miller classic “Pennsylvania 65000″ was far better received in Hamburg than by the more dignified French audience whose reaction turned out a bit mixed.
The 2DVD/3CD digipak will be out on November 3, 2017.