Home > Reviews > Live Reviews > 11/02/2011 | Teddy Thompson – O2 Academy, Oxford

11/02/2011 | Teddy Thompson – O2 Academy, Oxford

Lisa Ward


When the support act hurls himself through his slot, with gusto and passion that sees his face turn scarlet the headline is ultimately doomed. As David Ford jumps around, shouting his way through Nothing At All before loop pedalling the subsequent Panic and Margaret Thatcher tribute She’s Not The One, Teddy Thompson’s fate becomes sealed before he’s even taken the stage. All it takes is a stamp on the piano in State Of The Union and a heartfelt rendition of Song For The Road and those that made the effort to come out early seem more than satisfied with their choice.

Teddy on the other hand seems static in comparison, whilst his set is heartfelt, his patter enduring and his songs sturdy it simply doesn’t measure with Ford. Any other night I might have been giving Teddy wild acclaim but tonight he’s been overshadowed, and for once not by his parents. Whilst his set is meaty, I Feel opening with an up tempo bang that leaves me begging for more of the same but only Delilah seems to grant that wish.

The rest of his set falls flat and whilst his acoustic interlude which includes Turning The Gun On Myself sees the audience moved and forces them to clamour forward, five albums in, it’s fair to say I’d expected more. Whilst his musical craftsmanship is strong, melodies fusing into rock beats with memorable refrains, his lyrics seems somewhat lacking, almost contrived.

Maybe the bigger issue is that it’s a Friday night and Teddy is singing about suicide and love that won’t survive. Maybe it’s the addition of the violin which though musically vital is also equally guaranteed to keep things in subdued tone. Or maybe it’s simply that I’m 20 years younger than most of the crowd and expect an artist to do more than stand centre stage and sing. Though I’m relieved as the end of the set kicks a bigger punch Can’t Sing Straight and Looking For A Girl forcing me to ponder my first reaction, in the end I’m still unconvinced and on a rare occasion I leave raving more about the support.