Album review: RICHARD THOMPSON – Live At Rock City, Nottingham 86

RICHARD THOMPSON - Live At Rock City, Nottingham 86

Angel Air/Store For Music [Release date 13.03.20]

An archive live performance from Richard Thompson from 1986 where he has backed by a veritable array of top notch folk musicians including Clive Gregson & Christine Collister (who were forging a successful career at the time), John Kirkpatrick (Steeleye Span, the Albion Band) and drummer Gerry Conway (then a member of Jethro Tull, now in Fairport Convention).

The setlist draws heavily on his mid-80’s albums as you’d expect, namely ‘Hand Of Kindness’, ‘Across A Crowded Room’ and ‘Dancing Adventures’. Plus the theme tune to ‘The Life And Loves Of A She Devil’ (recorded by Thompson and Collister), which was airing on TV at that time and a current single at the time of this concert.

The set is well paced with toe tappers/get up and jig like ‘Two Left Feet’, the laid back ‘Al Bowly’s In Heaven’ and the more traditional folk on ‘Whitefriar’s Hornpipe/Shreds & Patches’ (a chance for John Kirkpatrick to take centre stage).

The versions of ‘Wall Of Death’ and ‘Fire In The Engine Room’ are superb, the latter again highlighting what a phenomenal guitarist Thompson is. It is little wonder he wins so many plaudits from fellow musicians and has built up such a large and loyal fan base. Add in a rollicking run through ‘Tear Stained Letter’ and you have a perfect snapshot of Thompson in his 1980’s glory.

Two CD live performance capturing Richard Thompson and his band in full musical flight, what’s not to like? Decent sound recording, although the wafer thin sleeve notes let it down a tad. ****

Review by Jason Ritchie

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