Best viewed at 800 x 600 resolution using Netscape
Navigator. Last update 6th March 2001.
these pages are intended to document the
TOUR by singer songwriter
I would welcome input from anyone who can provide information about the tour .
Saturday 17 February 2001.
Stage 2- Botanic Park . Womadelaide .
2001 Tour dates
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 Ò 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 Ò 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.
|97 Australian tour photos||
Who can help flesh out the site with reviews , information and photographs ?
if you can help.
Back to the Main Archive.