Many of us had been waiting years for Thompson Square to make their debut in the UK. I am not entirely sure Keifer and Shawna were even aware of their audience here and going by the amount of tears Shawna shed throughout their set, I am going to see that they didn’t.
The multi-award winning group are one of the best duo’s to ever grace the country music genre and although independent artists now, this dynamic duo are as strong as ever. Their most recent album Masterpiece is exactly that and whilst the title isn’t an ego trip and in fact a tribute to their son Cooper, the album strongly deserves that title.
Thompson Square played the Interstate Stage at The Long Road and were put on way too early at 11.50 on the Sunday. Probably having more awards than the rest of the acts playing combined (as discussed by myself and James at Lyric Magazine) we were shocked they weren’t given main stage and at a much more prime time. Lesson learned I am sure. At first, upon arrival the tent was empty apart from about ten people, this also raised our concerns with timings. However, as soon as Thompson Square arrived, the tent filled up rather quickly. Even Keifer said he was worried for a bit. Hey, I made front row so I was pleased.
The duo came on stage with just Keifer’s guitar and both their vocals. Starting with the song That’s So Me and You, you could genuinely feel the love the crowd had for them – these weren’t just fans but passionate fans and fans who had been waiting a long time for this moment.
Introducing themselves Shawna explains how they are husband and wife to which Keifer replies jokingly “and brother and sister” the crowd laughed and Shawna apologised for Keifer and for whatever was going to come out of his mouth all show. He kept the comedy going throughout the set, I wish I could remember it all but they made the show feel very intimate, special and as if we were all invited to their living room to hang out.
So many favourite songs were played such as Everything I shouldn’t Be Thinking About, Glass and an incredibly breathtaking, emotive and moving version of If I Didn’t Have You which was stunning in acoustic form. Shauna cried, we cried, it was a beautiful moment. The best songs live are the ones that bring out emotions as it is so real and so raw.
Despite requests, Shawna was too emotional to perform Breakers from the album Masterpiece and we all understood. She hasn’t managed to get through it many times and if you listen to the song (which I recommend) then you will see why.
From the new album they played title track Masterpiece written for their son and informed us that their son Cooper was in the audience but asleep. We all turned to see him asleep in a relatives/friends arms, very sweet. They also played Up In Smoke from Masterpiece which was epic live and very atmospheric and a stand out moment for me for sure. Other Masterpiece tracks included I Know This Guy. I Know This Guy was sensational live and very reminiscent to their early stuff. This song shows the strong bond they have and you find yourself hoping you will either have or do have as beautiful relationship as they do. Shawna and Keifer’s vocals were certainly meant for each other and this song produced another tear jerking moment.
Ending with Are You Gonna Kiss Me Or Not which was met by a massive sing a long from the very eager and adoring crowd, I can say they were one of the best acts across the entire weekend.
Thompson Square are the real deal, they are what country music is all about. With them you get authenticity, emotion, comedy, beauty and a dang good time.
Thompson Square, it may have taken you years to play here but now that you have and now that you have seen how many fans you have here, please make us a regular stop as we won’t ever tire from you and you will soon discover that this will be somewhat of a second home to you. Get Cooper to Hamley’s Toy Store too as we discussed.
Review by Hannah Compton