Richard & Linda Thompson – 01/10/1980 – Hamburg, Germany – full concert


For Shame Of Doing Wrong

Strange Affair

Hard Luck Stories

Crying In The Rain

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The Story Behind The Album: Unhalfbricking, by Fairport Convention

1969 was a roller coaster year for Fairport Convention, full of triumphs and tragedies. One of its highlights was their brilliant third album. This is its story.

1969 was a roller-coaster year for Fairport Convention. In January of that year they released their second album What We Did On Our Holidays, the first one to feature singer Sandy Denny. In May they hit rock bottom with a tragedy that killed two people including one of its members. Miraculously they recovered and released the album that defines the British folk rock revival of that period, the iconic Liege and Lief. By December Sandy Denny and bass player Ashley Hutchings left the band to form Fotheringay and Steeleye Span and the classic Fairport Convention lineup was no more. And that was not all, for these events book-ended one more album that the band managed to record and release during that prolific period, one of my favorite records from that era, Unhalfbricking. Continue reading

Richard Thompson in Muswell Hill (and other parts of London)

Film by Paul Dunphy for Folk On Foot

The legendary guitarist and songwriter Richard Thompson (who celebrated his 70th birthday in 2019) takes Matthew Bannister for a walk around the areas of London where he grew up, began playing the guitar, formed Fairport Convention (inventing English folk rock) and joined the vibrant music scene of the 1960s.

On the steps of his old school in Highgate Richard sings “Man With Money” by the Everly Brothers which he used to perform with the band he formed at the school. In Highgate Woods he sings his classic lament for lost love and the travelling life: “Beeswing” as well as a new song written during lockdown: “If I Could Live My Life Again”.

Outside the house called “Fairport” that gave the band its name, Richard gives us an emotional version of “Meet On The Ledge”. Then it’s on to Wardour Street in Soho, site of the famous Marquee Club, for “Walking The Long Miles Home” as he recalls walking ten miles back to his parents’ home in the early hours of the morning after gigs.

Finally we are in the Lamb and Flag pub in Covent Garden where Richard describes an encounter with a drunken Irish tenor that inspired his song “Josef Locke”. Along the way Richard reflects on song writing technique, remembers playing with Jimi Hendrix, tells how his Mum and Dad never really understood his success as a musician and relates how the seminal album “Liege and Lief” was the band’s way of dealing with “PTSD” after a car crash that killed his girlfriend Jeannie Franklyn and the drummer Martin Lamble.