Nearly two years after the release of his sixth solo album, Heartbreaker Please, and a similar amount of time since the supporting tour was originally meant to happen, Teddy Thompson played EartH in London’s Hackney. The venue – an old cinema – was a little on the cold side, with many of the audience remaining in their coats. It was also a venue that gives all of the audience a good view of the stage and the sound was great.
Supporting Teddy Thompson was Edinburgh raised, Dundee based, Roseanne Reid, whose debut album Thompson produced. Her eight-song set consisted of both new and unreleased songs, and those from her record Trails, along with her two EPs.
Starting her set with one of the first songs she wrote, All I Need For Once, Roseanne had the audience’s attention. Her sweet voice, complete with a soft Edinburgh accent, filled the space beautifully. Continuing with Sweet Annie, from her debut album Trails, Roseanne’s simple staging – alone with an acoustic guitar – allowed the audience to sit and listen – closed eyed if they wished – and just take in the music.
The selection of songs chosen worked well and she definitely won new fans. The inclusion of new material was a good teaser for her second album – due to be recorded later this year.
Teddy Thompson took to the stage a little while later complete with merch beanie and a rather large scarf wrapped around his neck. To be fair, it was pretty chilly in EartH. He was joined by his nephew Zak Hobbs on electric guitar.
Starting with Delilah, taken from his 2011 album Bella, and followed it up with I Feel from Delilah before launching into his sales pitch for his merch – a black beanie with his initials on one side and the Heartbreaker Please artwork on the other – alluding to the temperature in the venue.
The set-list consisted of songs from the majority of his back catalogue, including fan favourites such as Don’t Know What I Was Thinking and Looking For A Girl. As those who have ever seen Teddy live would expect, his between-song chat included a little info about songs along with self-deprecating comments on the sales figures for his albums and his own singing.
Zak’s additions to the set were well received, his solos were pretty awesome, and his take on the electric guitar part on Can’t Sing Straight had hints of Peter Green to it. Sometimes it’s better when the live version isn’t just a carbon copy of the studio recording.
Teddy’s decision to sing both parts of Never Knew You Loved Me To – from his duet album, Little Windows, with Kelly Jones (“not that Kelly Jones”) – was a good one. Not only did it sound great, it also allowed for yet another joke. His intro to Turning The Gun On Myself was well received, as was his intro to his inability to hide from his mother that No Way To Be was written about her. What’s This?! included a piece of audience participation and his teaching was enjoyed by pretty much everyone.
All in all, it was a great gig and worth waiting nearly two years for. Some fans of Teddy’s third album – Separate Ways – may have been unhappy that neither Separate Ways or I Should Get Up were not included, but given he only had 90 minutes, you can’t win them all.
Although the current run of UK tour dates are now over, he will be back to play Oran Mor, Glasgow – which had to be postponed – and Queen’s Hall, Edinburgh in May with Roseanne Reid, before playing two dates in Belfast and one in Dublin. So if you missed him this time round, or would like to catch him before he disappears back across the pond for a few more years, you may yet have your chance.
For more photos visit the photo gallery here.