A settled hush fell over the concert hall as the lights darkened and Richard Thompson, accompanied by the two members of his new band, walked in from stage left. A short pause, then warm applause erupted and a bashful looking Thompson bedecked in his traditional beret and signature neck scarf raised an eyebrow and wry smile at the reception. With red Stratocaster strapped on and a glance and nod at his compatriots a sharp drum beat and he was off.
The opening three songs of Stuck On The Treadmill, Sally B and Salford Sunday were taken at a blistering pace as Thompson spat out guitar riffs and hypnotic runs up and down the guitar neck. Choosing to open with songs all from his new album Electric is a testament to just how proud he is of this material which is rightly garnering some great reviews on both sides of the Atlantic. As he sang the lyrics of life working on the shop floor (or soon not to have such a job), the enigmatic Sally and life in a Northern town the audience were with him as one enjoying the ride.