Folk rock legend Richard Thompson is the big ticket on Courier Country’s gig scene next week.
The co-founder of the pioneering Fairport Convention – he started the band with Simon Nicol and Ashley Hutchings at age 18 in 1967 – is playing Perth Concert Hall on Wednesday.
Born in West London, the highly acclaimed guitarist formed his first school band Emil And The Detectives with his classmate Hugh Cornwell, who went on to front The Stranglers.
Isle of Wight, 1968
Thompson and Fairport starred at the first Isle of Wight Festival in 1968, with the addition of ex-Strawbs singer Sandy Denny to complement Iain Matthews’ vocals cementing the Celtic-influenced combo’s place in the big league.
Fairport’s 1969 album What We Did On Our Holidays included their signature song Meet On The Ledge, but it’s the Liege And Lief set from later that year that’s seen as a folk rock game changer.
After embracing Islamic mysticism, Thompson went on to record six albums with his singer wife Linda, including their classic 1974 debut I Want To See The Bright Lights Tonight.
The Perth gig
Once named by Rolling Stone magazine as one of the 20 best guitarists of all time, the pick-and-fingers exponent’s 18th solo studio album 13 Rivers reached the UK’s top 20 in 2018 and he followed it up with the soundtrack to William Wyler’s restored wartime docu-film The Cold Blue the following year.
More recently, the Ivor Novello winner made a studio return with August’s self-released six-track digital offering Serpent’s Tears, and tracks from the EP are expected to feature in his set at Perth.
The Concert Hall gig is one of only two Scottish shows Thompson, 72, is playing on his first UK tour for three years, with the other at Glasgow Royal Concert Hall on Tuesday.
Support at the Horsecross venue will come from Birmingham-based songsmith Katherine Priddy, who cites Nick Drake, John Martyn, Tunng and Imagined Village as influences.
Known for her haunting vocals and distinctive finger-picking guitar style, Priddy emerged in 2018 with her Wolf WP and released her long-anticipated debut album The Eternal Rocks Beneath in June.
A favourite of such radio taste-makers as Cerys Matthews, Tom Robinson, Janice Long and Guy Garvey, the LP topped the UK folk charts and went top five on the Americana charts.
And in other news
Separately, rhythm and blues six-stringer John Verity plays Kinross’s Green Hotel tomorrow.
The 72-year-old replaced songwriting maestro Russ Ballard in Argent in the mid-’70s aged 24, making two albums with the London prog legends before going on to forge a successful solo career.
The Green also has a set from tribute outfit The Petty Heartbreakers next Saturday (October 30), while tomorrow sees Caithness indie-rockers Neon Waltz at Dundee’s Beat Generator with Midlothian skanksters The Skababs dropping by Perth’s Letham Community Club.
Elsewhere, PJ Molloys has a packed gig programme coming up, kicking off with a visit from Housemartins / Beautiful South homage The Southmartins tomorrow, with support from one-man covers outfit Michael Law.
That’s followed by an appearance at the Dunfermline venue on Thursday from acoustic talent Lucy Spraggan, who’ll be supported by Northampton-born streaming sensation Billy Lockett.
Derbyshire performer Lucy’s song Last Night (Beer Fear) helped make her name on The X Factor in 2012 with chart action swiftly following.
Likened to Arctic Monkeys frontman Alex Turner, Spraggan’s homemade debut album Top Room At The Zoo prompted Columbia to finance her follow-up Join The Club, which hit No7 in 2013.
LGBT leading light
Blending rap with folk, she scored hits with Lighthouse and Tea And Toast before cutting ties with the major and self-releasing her third LP We Are in 2015.
One of the leading lights of music’s LGBT community, Spraggan, 26, returned to the top 20 in 2017 with I Hope You Don’t Mind Me Writing and in 2019 with Today Was A Good Day, before this year’s Choices album reached No5.
Molloys also has Scots ska funksters Porkpie next Friday, October 29.