The royal couple out for all to see - for the first time ever.
No doubt, Richard Thompson had his reasons to leave FAIRPORT CONVENTION to play music somewhat unlike folk rock, revolutionary in its traditional nature, yet no matter what the reasons there were, he hasn't done anything so new. And there's no reason to blame it on sufism that the guitarists and his wife Linda embraced at the time, as the Islamic mysticism didn't seep through into the pure English music of the couple, especially on-stage. Still, to feel it, you had to be there - but there was no live albums from the band, until now.
The band here, alongside the Thompsons, are Richard's former colleagues, Daves Pegg and Mattacks comprising the rhythm section, and the great John Kirkpatrick on the accordion. Their contribution to the proceeding is immense, even though the ensemble perform rather reservedly. But that's what it takes for the unhurried opener, "I Want To See The Bright Light Tonight", to be cheerful, and slow and transparent "Night Comes In" to feel dramatic. And while there seems to be no guitar miracles, it's the leader's instrument that propels most of the numbers - except for "Morris Medley", where each of the musicians has a сhance to shine.
Sadly, the live versions of the nervous "Calvary Cross" and "For Shame Of Doing Wrong" come off too relaxed - Linda is no Sandy - but it's more than made up for with the brilliant takes on classic country material, Buck Owen's "Together Again" and Hank Williams' "Why Don't You Love Me". To resist the charming gush of "Jet Plane In A Rocking Chair" and, more so, "It'll Be Me" rendered rockabilly - as well as the pull of the whole concert - is even harder.