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Monday, 7 February 2011

Gigs - Teddy Thompson - The Lowry, Salford

Star rating – 7/10

Teddy Thompson is a very accomplished songwriter and has a beautiful soulful voice. There seems to be a theme of me stalking the offspring of famous musicians after my last outing to see the wonderful Justin Townes Earle, but I can assure you it is purely co-incidental. Thompson is also following in big footsteps, son as he is of folk rock legends Richard and Linda Thompson.

Strangely enough this tour to launch his fifth studio album ‘Bella’ is partly taking place before the CD is available (apparently out today!), so the new material was totally fresh for most of the audience. Some of the new songs sounded great – ‘The One I Can’t Have’ and ‘ Take Me Back Again’ were especially good, if slightly downbeat with his trademark tales of failed or doomed romance. But this was not an even performance, and had some weaker numbers such as the duet on ‘Tell Me What You Want’ which he performed with violinist Jesse. Her voice sounded weak besides his, and her violin was a bit too dominant throughout for my tastes. And Thompson’s great voice is not shown off to best effect when he goes into a high falsetto mode on ‘Take Care of Yourself.

But there were some great older numbers too including Don’t Know What I Was Thinking’; and ‘The Things I Do’ from his fabulous and critically acclaimed fourth album from 2008 ‘A Piece of what You Need’, some performed by Thompson in beautiful solo acoustic mode.

He seems to be a regular guy, and amused the audience with tales of going to the gym, and watching Liverpool beat Chelsea in the hotel bar. He just needs to be a bit more even with his output. It’s cute to dedicate a song to his Mum, ‘Home’, but sadly it isn’t one of his better ones. And some of the lyrics on ‘Looking for a Girl’ are dubious to say the least.

But he pulled it back during the encore with a rousing, crowd pleasing, sing-a-long rendition of Abba’s ‘Super Trooper’ and the wonderful ‘In My Arms’ as a finale – and the fans went home happy.

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