Son of famous
folk rock icons, Richard & Linda Thompson, Teddy Thompson demonstrated
his own remarkable talents to great effect on Friday night at the Northcote
This is Teddy Thompson's first tour of Australia and he is doing it solo with just an acoustic guitar as accompaniment. Judging by the taste we were given on Friday night, he really doesn't need anything else to make an impression. And, impress us he certainly did.
act was Laura Jean, a young local singer/songwriter who gave the laid
back audience a sample of her music. Her best-known and most quirky song
is "I'm a rabbit, I'm a fox" which you can download on
her web site. Laura Jean sang for about 45 minutes. Her style was
unusual and took a bit of getting used to but she sort of grew on one
as her set progressed. Other songs included Our Swan Song, It's Supposed
to be Summer and Solace.
Guitar restrung he resumed with a song about New York and then a song from his EP Blunderbuss, "Turning the Gun on Myself". During his performance of "Altered State" another string broke causing him to break off mid song and make repairs again. Someone asked why he didn't have a spare guitar and he responded by saying that he used to carry one around, but found it a drag when he mostly didn't need it. Altered State was resumed after the briefest of interludes.
Obviously feeling more relaxed with the audience after this hiatus in proceedings he proposed that the next song would be a pirate ballad. This was "Sally Brown" one of two he performs on the "Rogues Gallery - Pirate Ballads, Sea Songs and Chanteys" CD. Pirate ballads are meant to be sung with one's shipmates, Teddy said, so this song proved to be a collaborative effort, with the audience singing along with the chorus. Great fun!
As the show continued we were enthralled by Teddy Thompson's talent as both a singer and guitarist, a chip off the old block, so to speak. By the end of the night he had the audience under a spell, when after performing 14 songs in his set, enthusiastic applause drew him back for an encore.
At the end of the night, I was left with the impression that Teddy Thompson is a rising star and I considered myself very fortunate to have seen him in such intimate surrounds as the Basement Discs, earlier in the day and later at the equally intimate Northcote Social Club.
Teddy Thompson objects to having his photo taken, I assume because of the distraction of flash bulbs, I did however, being ignorant of this state of affairs, manage to get some great photos at the Basement Discs show, but my photos at NSC turned out too dark and murky to use. The photos used above, therefore, are from the Basement Discs lunchtime show.
Teddy Thompson will be back in Melbourne at the Northcote Social Club on 28 November. I highly recommend seeing his show; I'm awfully tempted to go again myself.
Review & photos by Anne Sydenham