The Southbank Centre announced yesterday that Richard Thompson is going to curate this year's Meltdown in June. If you don't know it, Meltdown is a two week festival of music and other arts selected by a guest curator, usually a musician. Previous curators include the likes of Robert Wyatt, Scott Walker and Lee "Scratch" Perry. Mostly it is a series of stand-alone concerts but usually the curator makes a guest appearance at a few of them. Richard Thompson is a particular favourite of mine, so I am really looking forward to seeing who will be in the line-up and who he will be playing with.
I first saw Richard in concert (with Linda) at the Cambridge Folk Festival in 1980, so this Summer I will clock up thirty years of Thompson watching. There have been many memorable moments during that time - a storming rendition of "I Heard It Through The Grapevine" backed by Fairport Convention and the Roy Wood Big Band at Cropredy in 1995 springs immediately to mind - and a fair amount of guitar heroics. But many of the best gigs were those that featured just him and his acoustic guitar.
He is a great songwriter and a great guitarist, so obviously you are getting three cover versions, two of them "live and unplugged". All three are Scottish traditional songs, and he does a great job on them.
"Bogie's Bonnie Belle (live)" - Richard Thompson
"Bonnie St. Johnstone (live)" - Richard Thompson
"Mingulay Boat Song" - Richard Thompson
And especially for my mate Buxton, here he is doing "1952 Vincent Black Lightning":