Richard Thompson Live in San Francisco

Great American Music Hall

Great American Music Hall

Maybe it’s time to buy a beret. You know the kind Samuel Jackson made cool.

I would have been very much in sartorial step at last night’s Richard Thompson gig. “RT “ wears one and so too do many of his tall bald fans. I watched the raindrops cling to beret flannel of several retired professor types as we waited to enter the Great American Music Hall in San Francisco.

While I’ve dabbled with RT for quite some time but it was only after seeing his son Teddy live in Bangalow, of all places, that I set about tackling his considerable back catalogue. Volumes of muscular folk is what I discovered. Guitar licks crafted with precision and intensity…. dark lyrics worthy of late night whiskey and brooding. I’ve secured most of his LP’s now… vinyl collectors get very excited about original copies of “Bright Light’s Tonight” & “Shoot Out the Lights”.

The first half of his show we were treated to a complete run-through of an album he’s yet to record. So now instead of plundering the past I have an RT album that doesn’t exist rattling around my head. While he also played an hour or so of classics with his full band, including violin and brass, it’s the new songs that haunt me this morning. I want to hear “Stumble On” again, along with “Brother Slips Away” and “Haul it in”… but I’ll have to be patient and wait for several months before I slip the wax from the jacket and hear this bout of songwriting brilliance again. Waiting is rare in this downloadable age.

It’s worth the wait. By then it will be summer and a case of bugger the beret, pass the beach hat and Balvenie.

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