Dream Attic - Richard Thompson Album Review
Richard Thompson's importance in English folk and rock music became apparent with his selection as curator of the 2010 Meltdown Festival – it's not just any old bugger who gets that accolade you know. But now it's time for what Thompson does best – a new album, a live-set no less, recorded during a West Coast tour in the States earlier this year.
The initial print-run pairs up an 'electric' set of 13 brand-new songs recorded in front of an audience, mainly in San Francisco, and the same 13 songs presented in original acoustic-demo form. The comparables that this throws up makes for interesting listening, kicked off by the raised middle finger to the financial-sectors that is, "The Money Shuffle" followed by slightly more rootsy and familiar territory with "Among The Gorse, Among The Grey". But, for me, the album really takes off with the stomping "Haul Me Up", a riff-laden song that sees Thompson pleading for salvation and delivering a snatch of blistering fret work to boot. If singles were still viable, this would be my choice.
The 'electric' selection isn't all rock, rock, rock – "Burning Man" is a fiddle-laced ballad with some vivid imagery that wouldn't sit out of place on a Waterboys album (that's a compliment), while the almost funky "Demons In Her Dancing Shoes" helps display his supporting band's chops with veritable aplomb. Thompson has many fortes and one is singing about death, a subject that rears its head during "A Brother Slips Away" and "Sidney Wells", but it isn't all doom and gloom – his trademark blues ditched on "Big Sun Falling In The River, in favour of Crowded House-esque popera, and "Bad Again" a rock n' roll exercise.
So does including the acoustic-readings add another dimension to an album that already clocks in at 70 minutes plus? Well it knocks 20 minutes off and actually enhances a few songs – "Haul Me Up" and "Sidney Wells" benefiting from the minimal arrangements. To be honest, I like the idea of the raw live recording, but enjoyed this 'demo' section a little bit more.
Overall, another spot-on album from a man dangerously close to being termed as a 'national treasure', but I would have liked a shorter 'electric' set, perhaps 10 songs with a couple of acoustic songs thrown into the mix. I guess I prefer Mr Thompson's more minimal approach than a full band, but "Dream Attic" is still concrete evidence of his holistic and organic approach to making music. Get the limited edition.
- Wed 9th Aug 2017 Richard ThompsonGawsworth Hall (Macclesfield)Buy Tickets
You may also be interested in
- Thu 30th Mar 2017 and Sat 3rd Jun 2017 Martin CarthyBuy Tickets
- Thu 30th Mar 2017 to Fri 7th Apr 2017 Maddy PriorBuy Tickets
- Fri 31st Mar 2017 to Fri 15th Dec 2017 Ian McNabbBuy Tickets
- Fri 31st Mar 2017 and Sat 15th Apr 2017 The Urban Folk QuartetBuy Tickets
- Wed 5th Apr 2017 BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards, Mark Radcliffe, Julie Fowlis, Afro ...Royal Albert Hall (Kensington)Buy Tickets
- Fri 7th Apr 2017 and Sat 15th Apr 2017 John McCuskerBuy Tickets
- Wed 19th Apr 2017 to Thu 25th May 2017 Al StewartBuy Tickets
- Fri 21st Apr 2017 Barb JungrPlaza Theatre (Stockport)Buy Tickets
- Sun 23rd Apr 2017 Al Stewart, Dave NachmanoffColston Hall/ Lantern (Bristol)Buy Tickets
- Fri 5th May 2017 to Thu 9th Nov 2017 Martin SimpsonBuy Tickets
- Fri 5th May 2017 to Tue 16th May 2017 Eleanor McEvoyBuy Tickets
- Wed 10th May 2017 to Fri 20th Oct 2017 Fairport ConventionBuy Tickets
- Fri 12th May 2017 Sally Barker, Chris ConwayEastwell Village Hall (Melton Mowbray)Buy Tickets
- Mon 15th May 2017 Kathryn TickellThe National Forest Folk Club - Moira (Ashby de la Zouch)Buy Tickets
- Fri 19th May 2017 to Sat 27th May 2017 Andy Irvine, Paul BradyBuy Tickets
- Sun 28th May 2017 Andy IrvineUlster Hall (Belfast)Buy Tickets
- Fri 2nd Jun 2017 to Sun 4th Jun 2017 Acoustic Festival of BritainBuy Tickets
- Fri 2nd Jun 2017 Andy Irvine, DÃ³nal LunnyThe Abbey Tavern Howth (Dublin)Buy Tickets
- Fri 9th Jun 2017 Wildlife Festival, Jess Glynne, Fatboy Slim, Jamie Jones, Ge...Brighton City Airport (Brighton)Buy Tickets
- Sat 10th Jun 2017 Parklife, The 1975, Fatboy Slim, Above & Beyond, Two Doo...Heaton Park (Manchester)Buy Tickets
- Mon 31st Jul 2017 John KirkpatrickFolk Club White Hill (Buckinghamshire)Buy Tickets
- Fri 25th Aug 2017 Reading Festival, Kasabian, Bastille, Two Door Cinema Club, ...Rivermead Leisure Complex (Reading)Buy Tickets
- Fri 25th Aug 2017 Andy Fairweather Low, Chris Difford, Eric Bibb, Jamie Smith'...The West Midlands Showground (Shrewsbury)Buy Tickets
- Sat 26th Aug 2017 Leeds Festival, Kasabian, Bastille, Two Door Cinema Club, Yo...Bramham Park (Leeds)Buy Tickets
- Sun 3rd Sep 2017 Shovels and Rope, Lucinda WilliamsO2 Shepherds Bush Empire (Shepherds Bush)Buy Tickets
- Fri 29th Sep 2017 Zoe RahmanThe Lit and Phil (Newcastle-upon-Tyne)Buy Tickets
- Fri 13th Oct 2017 Clive Gregson, Liz SimcockSt John's Church - Farncombe (Godalming)Buy Tickets
- Fri 27th Oct 2017 and Sat 28th Oct 2017 The Icicle Works, Ian McNabbBuy Tickets
- Fri 8th Dec 2017 and Sun 10th Dec 2017 The Dylan ProjectBuy Tickets