Richard Thompson, the Queens Hall, Aug 9 (skinnyfest2)
burned with the ache and fury of a man for whom the weight of the world still weighs heavy
With his neatly-trimmed beard and twinkly-eyed, unassuming elder-statesman demeanour, you wouldn't immediately finger Richard Thompson as a man still in thrall to his inner demons. That, however, would be discounting the former Fairport Convention man's history of mining black as coal material from a seemingly endless seam of existential angst.
Age has barely mellowed him and large chunks of his performance at the Queens Hall burned with the ache and fury of a man for whom the weight of the world still weighs heavy. Standing alone in the spotlight with his acoustic guitar, Thompson burned with an intensity that puts contemporary singer-songwriters to shame.
Newer songs like 'Bathsheba Smiles' and '1952 Vincent Black Lightning' both showcased Thompson's enduring brilliance as a guitarist and craftsman while a version of the Fairports' classic Crazy Man Michael ensured there was barely a dry eye left in the house, a state of affairs that would probably secretly have pleased this old heartbreaker.
One off gig