Double Treat - no, make that Triple Treat
It was good to see Mary Gauthier in London again - this time in her classiest UK venue yet, in support of Richard Thompson at the South Bank concert hall. Mary was in fine form as she gave the Thompson audience a "sampler" set from 'I Drink' and 'Camelot Motel' to the most recent 'Last of the Hobo Kings'. After battling courteously with the lack of feedback in the opening number, Mary wrapped us up in her spell of tales from life on the road and the hurt of post-Katrina New Orleans. Her wry tales between songs are a feature of her performances; tonight there was only time for the back-story to 'Hobo Kings' - which raised much laughter. I think Mary won quite a few converts - if the brisk trade around the cd table was anything to go by - and hopefully she'll be back soon.
Richard Thompson put on a masterful solo performance - as ever making light work of sounding like a full band, rather than a lone guitarist. Only a few songs in, he gallantly abandoned his set-list to play requests - 'Cold Kisses', 'Valerie' etc - although he drew the line at 'My Daddy'. 'Dad's Gonna Kill Me' thrilled again, as did 'Vincent' - but 'Bright Lights' is better sung as a duet. And on it went - preaching to the converted. There were no real surprises until the second encore when he introduced his daughter Kamila for a couple of numbers - her voice very reminiscent of her mother's. Rather like the Wainwright/McGarrigles, the talented Thompson clan is clearly another folk/rock dynasty - look them up at a festival near you this summer.