WHEN Richard Thompson started out with Fairport Convention in the 60s, music wasn’t a career, it was a bit of fun for six months or a year before getting a proper job.
Now, over 40 years later and named an OBE in the New Year’s Honours, the folk/rock troubadour with one of the most distinctive guitar sound in the world plays two nights at Warwick Arts Centre next Friday and Saturday.
“When we started there was never any permanence about being in a band, there was always the sense of having to get a real job in the end,” says Thompson, “and I’m still pinching myself when I realise that I’m still out there playing and enjoying myself.”
Originality is the hallmark of Thompson, from the moment he first took an electric guitar to English folk to his devastating attacks on events like the Iraq war on his CD Dream Warrior and bankers on his latest release, Dream Attic.
“It comes from being pissed off,” he says, “totally pissed off with the bankers responsible for this global meltdown, it’s unbelievable what they’ve done.”
He’s also dismissive of pop shows like the X-Factor: “It’s very very conservative, a confirmation of the status quo.
“You won’t find the next Radiohead on the X-Factor. I’d like to see a show where originality was the number one criteria and everything else, appearance, delivery, etc was secondary.”
He’s touring with the band that cut that disc and it forms the core of the first part of the show with old favourites for afters.
Richard Thompson is the pre-eminent English musician of his era.
He plays the Warwick Arts Centre on Friday and Saturday, January 28 & 29 and tickets cost from £19.50 on 024 7652 4524 or at www.warwickartscentre.co.uk.