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A Magazine for Sheffield

Robbie Thompson Between the Industry and the Green

Thompson's vocals are striking, a very old voice bristling with fresh emotion.

Released: 22 June 2017
Between the Industry and the Green

As member of much-travelled collective The Buffalo Skinners, Robbie Thompson is one part of a whole who spend their time traversing folk, rock, blues and country with a Yorkshire grounding. In his solo work, however, he takes several steps back from the Skinners’ full-bodied, rumbling storytelling and instead uses songs to pick out moments, giving them room to breathe.

Recorded with Colin Elliot at Yellow Arch, Between the Industry and the Green is a document of songs he's written to date outside the band, rather than a purpose-written and self-contained collection. There's no beginning, middle and end narrative, but rather singular confessional snapshots of a wider picture. It's stripped back to bare bones, with just voice, guitar and the occasional drifting violin.

Thompson's vocals are striking, a very old voice bristling with fresh emotion. It comes to life on 'I Wonder Now More Than Ever’, an introspective track that plays and replays self-doubt. The swelling lyrical repetition is part of the sentiment, endless wondering about inevitability and contradictions. "As it throws right to left, is it better just to let it?" he asks, of going against the natural tides of things.

'That's How You Look to Me' is a poetic song about the resilience of feeling in hostile environments. Similarly, 'Grand Shoreham Hotel' is simply melodic with the creeping warmth of a folk song. It's about a fondness for meeting places and how things never stay the same for long. Like the whole album, it's truly open ended, expressing nearly every feeling at once.

It makes sense that an album of this nature – the collected work of years – should be so textured, exploratory and magnetically inconclusive.

Lucy Holt

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