THIS reviewer has seen Thompson many times and he has never been better. His performance was blisteringly marvellous.
Thompson gigs follow two templates: acoustic solo or full-band electric. This one fell loudly into the second category.
On tour to promote Dream Attic, a collection of new songs recorded live, Thompson and his four musicians performed most of the album in the first half, then returned to play his “greatest hits – but very much with a small ‘h’,” as Richard put it.
Highlights from the first half numbered Haul Me Up, Demons In Her Dancing Shoes, A Brother Slips Away and If Love Whispers Your Name. The second half was one extended high spot; if forced to choose, the electric workout of Can’t Win, with its furiously beautiful guitar solo, stood out. But then, so too did Tearstained Letter, I Want To See The Bright Lights Tonight and Wall Of Death.
Thompson thrives with other musicians – and what a band he had here: multi-instrumentalist Pete Zorn skipped dexterously between assorted saxophones, flute, mandolin and guitar, excelling at each; violinist Joel Zifkin massaged melodies into life; larkish bass player Taras Prodaniuk drove the songs alone; and drummer Michael Jerome mixed delicate rhythmic touches with the full muscled percussion.
As for Thompson, he played like a Stratocaster-wielding demon, yet also supplied wonderful acoustic jazz guitar on Al Bowlly’s In Heaven.
He was on stage for close on two and a half hours, and the sold-out audience would have stayed for more.