Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Review: Richard Thompson & The Rails At Bath Forum, 23/7/2014

It was a week ago today that we went to see the great Richard Thompson in Bath but I have been so busy since I haven't had the chance to write a review until today. This is what happened.                                                       We caught the train to Bath at 2.10 because Jacky & Bill hadn't been to Bath for years so I thought it would be nice to show them around. We walked up Milsom Street and past the abbey and had a look at the river. Then we had a quiet drink under the shade of the trees at The Boater pub. After that we walked along the river as far as the cricket club. It was so hot that we sat down in a shady spot and watched a ladies cricket match for quite a while. It was really pleasant and quite appropriate because Richard Thompson is a big cricket fan. Later on we had some food at a pub near the venue and then it was showtime.

 I bought a Richard Thompson Acoustic Classics shirt at the merchandise stall and joined Jacky & Bill in our seats quite near the front of the nice art-deco style venue. The opening act were The Rails who are Richard's daughter Kami and her husband James Walbourne. They began with the brilliant Bonnie Portmore which I discovered via their appearance at Glastonbury and really like. ( See video below) They have an album out called Fair Warning and most of the songs from their 40 minute set came from that. I'm not sure of the titles of all the songs but I really liked William Taylor, Send Her To Holloway and a song called Lonely from a forthcoming Thompson family album featuring Richard,Teddy, Kami,James and Kami's mother Linda so that should be good. I thought The Rails were great and during the interval I had a quick little chat with them and they signed a flyer for me. They are on at Cambridge Folk Festival this weekend so I may get the chance to see them again. Also during the interval I asked a man at the door if there was any chance that I could have the huge poster from the foyer and he said he would find out.
   Then it was time for the main man. This is the second time I have seen Richard at this venue and he never ceases to amaze me with his skill on the guitar and his ability to sing brilliantly at the same time.This is the setlist. I hope I have the song titles correct.
Bathsheba Smiles
Saving The Good Stuff For You
God Loves A Drunk
Johnny On The Sea
Fergus Lang
Vincent Black Lightning 1952
Sunset Song
I Want To See The Bright Lights Tonight
Genesis Hall
Good Things Happen To Bad People
The New Me
I Read About Love
Three short pieces about World War 1
Wall Of Death
Dimming Of The Day
I Feel So Good
Gossamer Wind
One Door Opens
That's Enough ( With The Rails)
                                                   I think you will agree that is a very impressive list of songs. I really enjoyed God Loves A Drunk which I first got to know on a Norma Waterson album. The three short pieces about World War 1 were letters from soldiers verbatim which Richard has set to music for a project coming out in 2016 to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Battle Of The Somme. It was great to hear the Fairport Convention song Genesis Hall as well because I am a big fan of Fairport. The last song when he was joined by The Rails is also from the forthcoming family album and was brilliant. In fact the whole concert was brilliant.

                                                       As we left, the man on the door was waiting with my huge Richard Thompson poster. It will cost a fortune to frame it but I'll get it done in due course. We caught the train at about 10.45 and got home in time for a last drink in the Ludlow and a chat with my friend Jacquie the landlady.What a perfect day it had been.

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