The Unwound Third > Other Musical Interests

Richard Thompson deserves a knighthood

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The article is 8 years old but is probably is the best semi-recent interview I've read with Richard Thompson and is well worth your time.

RT ruined my life (in a good way) after I attended a Fairport Convention gig at the Country Club in West Hampstead, London in 1968. I would have been 16, probably the first time I was able to escape the house and see a truly great live electric band. Everyone following Fairport at that time will always miss Sandy Denny. What a tragic loss to music.

Richard is still with us thankfully. We just got tickets to his gig in Albany NY in November.

Parlor Picker:
When I moved to London in early 1970, I saw the Fairports at the Country Club in West Hampstead a number of times. I sort of lost interest when Richard left the band, but still used to go see him perform with Linda in folk clubs, etc.

I've got tickets for Bexhill-on-Sea in November when he plays with his trio. Support is the excellent Joan Shelley and Nathan Salsburg.

My memory was faulty, reviewing the timeline on wikipedia my Country Club visit would have been around 1970, based on personnel; it was after the accident that ended Martin Lamble's life but not by much. I might have bumped into you there Simon!

Parlor Picker:
Were you at the gig where they were too drunk to play their regular set and entertained the audience with old rock 'n' roll songs, etc.? Swarb was allegedly being sick in the toilets so couldn't play. It was actually good fun, especially Richard's guitar solos. At the end, Simon Nicol tried to give me his glass of whisky, but ended up spilling it down my coat. (Speaking of Simons - I'm Michael. Maybe you were thinking of Norfolk Slim?)

Sorry Michael, got it.

I've had to do some research to get my dates straight, it was a long time ago.

No, Swarb was not in the band that night. It was before he joined permanently, after playing on Unhalfbricking, so maybe '69. I think I remember Iain Matthews was in the band that night, I (think I) remember his distinctive vocal on Meet On The Ledge. I'm pretty sure they also played Matty Groves, Fotheringay, Deserter & Tam Lin. So it was likely just before releasing Liege & Lief, which wikipedia tells me was in December '69. Sandy left/was fired in November '69

I didn't see them again until a gig at my local college gaff, Reading University Union, with Swarbrick, Richard, and no Sandra. Like you, I faded away after Sandy and then RT left. Good on the others for keeping it going all these years and making it an enduring institution.

Anyway, nostalgia's not what it used to be. I'm tempted to approach Richard each time I see him these days which is pretty often at his concerts in North America, and say "Hey Richard, I saw you guys at the Country Club in the late Sixties....".

But I don't, he might think I'm a stalker and write a song about me :P


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