Teddy hopes for warm welcome

Teddy Thompson
Teddy Thompson

THE last time Teddy Thompson performed at the Memorial Hall in Sheffield it snowed so heavily that half the audience couldn’t get there.

Another date in early February is hardly a safe bet but it should be worth getting there whatever the weather.

It’s been said for some time that the singer-songwriter is on the verge of breaking through into the big league, and new album Bella can only push him further in that direction.

His fifth collection of songs contains all the ingredients that he no doubt inherited from his parents and have served him so well so far – a mellifluous voice befitting a son of Linda Thompson and a musicality and neat lyrical turn that you might expect from a son of Richard Thompson.

If his approach is aimed at the mainstream, it is done with maturity and panache.

Last year saw the ridiculously catchy single In My Arms (from the album A Piece Of What You Need) generate a lot of airplay, and the opener on Bella, Looking For A Girl, follows in similar vein.

Then it’s into Delilah, a country-influenced slow dance with a judicious use of strings, while Tell Me What You Want is a duet with friend and fellow singer Jenni Muldaur.

Overall there’s a feeling that Thompson is stretching himself a little more here.

Regular touring – he supported James Blunt on an arena tour, including Sheffield – have kept him in the public eye, and his latest tour, with support from another singer-songwriter, David Ford, brings him to the Memorial Hall tonight (Thursday).

Bella, recorded in Thompson’s adopted hometown of New York City, is out on Monday on Verve Forecast/Universal Music.