‘My so-called fans!’: All-request shows have added new wrinkles for Richard Thompson

Richard Thompson had a bright idea: Letting his loyal fans participate in an all-request concert, hoping to share some more personal memories in song. He’s quickly learned the folly of that plan.

“When people come into the venue,” Thompson tells KFOG, “they put a written request slip into a bucket, and then I just pull them out at random. It’s an incredibly foolish thing to do.”

Seems some of Thompson’s more impish fans don’t stick to things like one of his celebrated collaborations with Linda Thompson, 1994’s UK Top 25 hit Mirror Blue or even his remarkable current release, 2013’s Electric. Instead, they try to baffle and confuse the singer-songwriter — live on stage.

“I’m stumped about every third request, actually,” Thompson admits with a chuckle, “because people put in anything. They put in things from The Sound of Music or, you know, Gilbert and Sullivan. I mean, they’re just shameless, these people. My so-called fans! They’re just out to get me.”

The clip above finds him fulfilling a request on an old hit from Crowded House at New York’s City Winery. Thompson’s next all-request show is on May 14, 2014 at Napa, California.

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