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Welcome, these pages are intended to document the second AUSTRALASIAN TOUR by singer songwriter Richard Thompson.
I would welcome input from anyone who can provide information about the tour .

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Saturday 17 February 2001.

Stage 2- Botanic Park . Womadelaide .


2001 Tour dates

New Zealand

3 February Auckland

Bruce Mason Theatre

 

Australia

5 February Sydney

Enmore Theatre

 

8 February Melbourne

Concert Hall

 

10 February Canberra

Tilleys

 

13 February Brisbane

Tivoli Theatre

 

15 February Perth

Octagon Theatre

 

17 February Adelaide

Womadelaide

 

18 February Adelaide

Womadelaide

 

Set list

Bathsheba Smiles

Spell Is Broken

Crawl Back Under My Stone .

Ghost Of You Walks

Daddy Is A Mummy

Dry My Tears And Move On

Vincent 52.

Great Valerio

Cooksferry Queen

Encore .

Unspoken Sight Unseen

 

 

 

Richard Thompson Photo Gallery Womad 2001

    Saturday Stage 2 was the venue for the first of two performances at Womadelaide 2001 by esteemed guitar player and songwriter Richard Thompson . Much more intimate than the huge stage one , this is eminently suited for RT as it allows him to service a large crowd ( and thus build his audience base ) and at the same time create some of the feeling that he could get in a smallish club . RT bounced on-stage to a warm round of applause from the neophytes that had congregated near the front to the stage . Wearing the familiar black ensemble topped by the inevitable beret he plugged in and without any sort of introduction launched into an impassioned "Bathsheba Smiles" . The PA was crystal clear, but damned loud. This great version of Bathsheba was followed immediately by a high energy" Sights and Sounds of London Town" , during which Richard gave a "lets hear you on the chorus " and a goodly portion of the audience duly obliged. I love this particular song and a good version is guaranteed to send a little shiver up my spine and this one was no exception .Big cheers and a healthy dose of applause greeted its ending .

    For the first time Richard spoke up and addressed the audience directly .

"Thank you very much . Great to back here at Womadelaide, lovely weather , lovely people. They were a couple of songs off my latest album , not new by the way, I haven't got one of THOSE - but recent. This one goes way back to 1937, my fourteenth album".

All this said with with a very large grin on his face. These words lead into a near perfect version of "Spell is Broken "which featured a virtuoso instrumental break, which although short was very powerful . In some ways I was missing Danny here as I know that this would have gone on longer if there had been another player on-stage to bounce musical ideas off . Even so this was great stuff . Wasting no words, Richard then began a very lively " Crawl Back " featuring considerable snarling of the title- on which the crowd , at no prompting from RT ( and to his evident approval , given by a pair of radically raised eyebrows ) echoed the"crawl backs" from the very first chorus . The build up on the finale featured Richard shouting out the Crawl Backs and this number finished powerfully to a large round of applause.

    Understandably, after this Richard was a bit heated so he helped himself to a drink , ( temps peaked at 34c on the Saturday) whereupon a wag in the audience suggested that he give his guitar a drink to cool it down too. RT mugged up at the suggestion with a do you think that's wise ? followed by a " its my show, watch it " This little interlude was followed by an exquisite "Ghost of you walks" . The crowd of several thousand was almost completely silent as the fragile notes of the song floated over their heads and into the ether.

Next up was a new one to me " My Daddy Is a Mummy"

"This song is really stupid I hope you don't mind - they said , its Adelaide , so keep it pretty simple . I wrote this song for my son's school project for ancient Egypt , they said have you got any of those ancient Egyptian songs that you could play , I racked my brain and I couldn't come up with a single one apart from the odd Bangles hit - which doesn't really count. So I came up with this after painstaking research. I think this is pretty damn close to what they were frugging to back in 1000 BC in the Luxor region- left hand side of the Nile. Because this is for a school project this full of real names and real scientific things, totally correct so we all come away from this enriched . And for the Western ear, remember there are two Memphis's . "

During the chorus he came up with a " Join me kids." A great piece of frippery , this went down really well with the crowd which prompted a "You liked that one, I knew it" to which he added I think I'm on the wrong stage -where's the kiddies ?" whilst cupping his hand to his brow , pretending to look for the other stage .

    The next number "Dry My Tears and Move On "was a mixture of delicacy and precision . I loved the mellow vibrato he applied to the notes on this one . With no more ado( obviously aware of the time strictures) our hero led into the opening notes of " 52 Vincent "which sparked recognition from many in the audience. There was one very slight hesitation in this number ( the only noticeable mistake during the whole set- otherwise the guitar work was flawless) which was more than made up for the dexterity shown during the instrumental break . The list of classic British motorbikes was relatively short. This one containing only Norton's , Rudge's and Douglas's , unlike some of the other lengthy lists I've heard during other versions .

    The "Great Valerio" featured a fair dose of echo and was suitably ethereal and otherworldly . First time I've heard this effect used on this song and I thought it worked very well. The instrumental interlude was just out of this world , delicate fragile notes hung poised over our heads and time was suspended for an instant , such was the power of this little gem . You could hear a pin drop at the end of this one , the audience was transfixed , then once they recovered , sustained applause . However, Richard was in no mood to wait for this to die down- a swift thank you from RT and then straight into an impassioned "Cooksferry Queen "which was full of energy and some ridiculously swift guitar. "Thank very much thank, you have a great festival ' then off stage and back on again for a quick encore .Richard deliberately structured his shows both days to enable this , as most bands played their allotted time and then left. I think it was good strategy as it gave the audience the chance to truly show their appreciation .

    Richard made a strange choice as a encore. "Unspoken Sight Unseen "I actually have warmed considerably to this song on subsequent hearings- it lodges in the subconscious and worms its way into the fore- I've been wandering around the house and found myself singing the chorus during the past few weeks , but at the time it did not really seem very good encore material. However, despite its unfamiliarity ,it was received warmly and RT left the stage to considerable applause and a "thank you very much see you tomorrow, if you are around" Oh yes, we'd be around all right , wild horses would not stop us from catching another Richard Thompson performance .

    The verdict from the assembled RT freaks was extremely positive, everyone thought the show was great and the announcement that there would be Official Live CD's available at B Sharp records led to a fairly large influx of RT fans descending on the record store . Ian impoverished himself by buying "Live At Crawley" and "Two Letter Word"- this in addition to purchasing "Mock Tudor" in the morning session . In fact he bought the last copies, one of which had a damaged sleeve. Then he insisted we hang around on the chance of there would be a CD signing by the man himself. However this was not to be . Noticing another RT fan talking to a blonde lady and picking up on the fact that this was Richard's wife Nancy, we approached her and asked if there was any chance of a CD signing. She told us that it wasn't likely ( the famous RT reticence coming to the fore yet again ) , but we took the chance to tell her to thank Richard for coming over to Oztralia again and that we were pushing the Capital retrospective on the web site, a fact that seemed to please her no end.

    A couple of minor gripes, I think if RT wants to achieve more fame and fortune , then he should force himself into meeting his fans -most of the Womad artists signed CD's and RT was conspicuous in his absence. However, he did have a mild dose of the flu, so he might just not have felt well enough to go through the ordeal .Secondly , Womad is wonderful , but it would be nice to see RT here just once in a nice club - such as the Governor Hindmarsh (hint , hint .....)

An audience tape exists of this show , quality excellent.


 

2001 Australian tour reviews/interviews and photographs

Richard Thompson photo gallery.

 

The Richard Thompson pages .
 Pacific tour 97.setlists/reviews.
General revews
RT banter.
RT Womad 97 photos
97 Australian tour photos
RT links.
RT Video
   RT Photogallery

 


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