Gerry Rafferty Newcastle City Hall 9th April 1980
Two years and two albums later, Gerry Rafferty was out on tour again in the UK. I saw him when the tour called at Newcastle City Hall. The massive success of Rafferty’s “City to City” album was followed by “Night Owl” in 1979, and “Snakes and Ladders” in 1980. The title track from “Night Owl” made the UK top ten, and the album also include the hit “Get It Right Next Time”. The set consisted of his hits and tracks from his four solo albums, and was another enjoyable evening spent with a musical craftsman. Support came from Richard and Linda Thompson. Richard Thompson had played on the “Night Owl” album, and Rafferty personally financed the husband and wife duo’s next album, and helped look for a record deal for them. This was not successful, although several of the songs were later re-recorded and appeared on the critically acclaimed “Shoot Out The Lights” album. Rafferty was a craftsman and a perfectionist; that can be seen in his recorded output, and was also evident in his live concerts which showcased the unique way in which the singer songwriter successfully blended pop and folk rock. However, fame and live performance did not sit well with Gerry Rafferty. He found the linkage between success and celebrity difficult to handle and his live performances were few and far between after his 1980 tour. The appearance of “Stuck in the Middle with You” in Tarantino’s 1992 film Reservoir Dogs brought Rafferty and his music back into the public eye and introduced a new generation of fans to the song.
Gerry Rafferty sadly passed away on 4th January 2011. His passing was marked by tributes from across the music industry, and a re-evaluation of the massive impact of his songs and the richness of his musical legacy.
Archive for the ‘Richard Thompson’ Category
Gerry Rafferty Newcastle City Hall 9th April 1980
I realised that working alphabetically through my ticket and programme collection won’t cover the festivals that I’ve been to over the years, so I have decided to skip out of the alphabet now and then to cover a festival or two. Hence I’m having a rest from covering artists starting with the letter D and will write something today on the Cambridge Folk Festival.
I’ve only been to Cambridge once, and greatly enjoyed it and have often fancied returning, but have never done so. I drove down in 1975 with my mate Norm to the event at Cherry Hinton Hall. We drove down on the Saturday, which was the second day of the festival and paid at the door, driving back on Sunday night, and arriving home early Monday morning. I think the attendace was around 15,000 and over-crowding was becoming a problem for the organisers. It was one of the friendliest festivals that I’ve ever been to; with music all around. Everywhere you turned someone was playing a guitar and singing, from local artists, through to impromptu sets by some of the headliners. We ran into some friends from the North East and had a great time taking in different sorts of music. We were both much more used to rock festivals, and found this laid back folk event a very refreshing change. Great atmosphere, and great music. Highlights for me were Leo Kottke and his incredible impressive slide guitar on Vaseline Machine Gun, Stefan Grossman, seeing Bert Jansch sing to a small crowd outside one of the tents, Richard and Linda Thompson playing a superb set drawn from their albums I Want to See the Bright Lights Tonight and Hokey Pokey, and headliner Dave Bromberg. The line-up was quite strong and included: Tom Rush, Vin Garbutt, Richard and Linda Thompson, Brillo, Robin and Barrie Dransfield, Harvey Andrews and Graham Cooper, Stefan Grossman, Bert Jansch, Tony Rose, Nic Jones, Stefan Grossman, Dave Bromberg Band, Leo Kottke, Jack The Lad, Five Hand Reel, Country Gazzette, Spud.
Richard Thompson Sage Gateshead Jan 26 2011
Will and I went to see Richard Thompson at the Sage last week. Will is now well into Richard, having got the latest CD Dream Attic in preparation for the show. I’m afraid I wasn’t so prepared, so the first half of the show was all new to me. However that didn’t stop me from enjoying the show. Richard’s band was spot on, and his singing and guitar playing was excellent with quite a few extended solos. The second half of the show consisted of a selection of songs from his “greatest hits’, a few of which I actually recognised.
Richard has been getting a lot of good press recently, and it is much deserved. The show at the Sage demonstrated just how versatile he is and how strong his songs are. His guitar playing is superb; he is under-rated as a guitarist and is up there with the greats.
Both Will and I agreed it was a great show from a true master.
Band: Pete Zorn (guitars, flute, saxes, mandolin), Michael Jerome (drums), Taras Prodaniuk (bass) and Joel Zifkin (violin, mandolin).
First half (Dream Attic) :The Money Shuffle; Among the Gorse; Haul Me Up; Here Comes Geordie; Demons in Her Dancing Shoes; Crimescene; Big Sun; Stumble On; Sidney Wells; A Brother Slips Away; If Love Whispers Your Name’
Second half: The Angels Took My Race Horse Away; Can’t Win; One Door Opens; Al Bowlly’s In Heaven; I’ll Never Give it Up; Wall Of Death; Tear Stained Letter
Encores: Take Care The Road You Choose; I Want To See The Bright Lights Tonight’.
Richard Thompson The Sage Gateshead January 23rd 2009
1000 years of Popular Music
Richard Thompson is another act that I felt I should catch up on. I think the last time I saw him he was with his (then) wife Linda and they were supporting Traffic at Newcastle City Hall.
For this tour Richard is performing his own review of 1000 years of popular music, accompanied by Judith Owen and Debra Donkin who provide (excellent) vocals, percussion and keyboards. The set was divided into two halves. In the first half Richard concentrated on old traditional songs, with a selection of folk music, a carol, and Elizabethan songs. After the interval he moved to 20th century music. This set covered some of my favourite songs: Cry me a river (sung wonderfully by one of the ladies); See my Friends (always one of my favourite Kinks songs); Friday on my Mind (again a great song) and couple of old rock n roll tunes (Drinking wine spo dee o dee). All of these were performed in Richard’s own style with some great guitar work. The encore included a Beatles medley with I want to hold your hand and a couple of other early mersey beat type songs. A good selection of songs, and well performed. An interesting evening.