Chris Thompson

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This Chris Thompson should not be confused with Chris Thompson, the vocalist from Manfred Mann's Earth Band, who also spent time in Hamilton, including attending Hamilton Boys High School.
1973 cover of the self titled "Chris Thompson" album

Singer/Songwriter/Guitarist Chris Thompson started out in the Kon-Tiki Folk Club in Hamilton, and other coffee houses. He found some initial success in Auckland with country and blues bands like The Stillwater String Band, The Medicine Show and The Myers Park Shufflers, and with regular television appearances on AKTV-2's 'On Camera' show in 1969. In the early '70s he moved to England, where he played in the band of Californian folk singer Julie Felix and played with British folk-blues legends Wizz Jones and Davey Graham. Chris moved to Ireland to live and became a 'musician-in-residence' at Trinity College, Dublin, opening shows for bands like Quintessence, Planxty and Horslips, and touring solo in Belgium in 1972. Chris also appeared on television in Dublin and Belfast. In 1973 he made his first album, which is recognised internationally as an underground classic, and is currently in its fifth edition. Back in New Zealand in 1974, Chris toured with bluesmen Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee; he maintained a lifelong friendship with Brownie, for whom he wrote the song "Letter to Brownie". "Letter to Brownie" later had a video directed by Adam Hyde, then a student at Waikato Polytech. It was filmed by Wayne Green, and presented to TVNZ as a demo. It engaged their interest and they re-shot the film in a bar in Auckland, screened it on 'The CV Show', and sent a copy to Brownie McGhee who enjoyed it thoroughly. In the mid-'70s Chris toured with New Zealand singer/songwriter John Hanlon, backing him up on stage and in the studio, and in the '80s Chris toured with Texan blues guitarist Stevie Ray Vaughan. Chris married Canadian musician Lynne Bradstock in 1985; they toured successfully as a duo, and made two albums for Ode Records. Together they have one daughter, Lora, who plays guitar in the Hamilton band Cheshire Grimm. Regular gigs Chris has had in Hamilton include The Hillcrest Tavern Wine Bar (1982), Ruby Blacks Coffee House (2007), The Brothers Seafood Restaurant (1979), Cafe Centrale (1998) and La Commune Cafe (2008).

Chris is an old boy of Southwell School and has spent most of his life in and around Hamilton, where he recorded Hometown Voodoo in 1981; this album contains the song Hamilton, about the city. This song has become widely known due to a version played by Big Muffin Serious Band. Other Hamilton and Raglan musicians Chris has played with include Tim Armstrong and The Monday Club, Stan Jagger, The Dirt Band, and The Wild Allegations. After some success as a songwriter in America (where San Franciscan singer Meg Baird recorded 'The River Song', and Fleet Foxes frontman Robin Pecknold recorded 'Where is my Wild Rose?'), Chris relocated to Taupo, where he wrote new songs and performed occasionally at Cafe Ninety-Nine in Tongariro St. In December 2016 Chris recorded a new digital album called On High Street (by 'Chris Thompson, the Folksinger from Hell'), which was released on Chris moved to Waihi Beach in December 2017 and has been playing at The Bowentown Cafe and The Porch. He is presently working with Hamilton-based Pinenut Records on the collectors vinyl edition of some long lost rock and experimental recordings made in Dublin in 1974. This album (Drunken Nights in Dublin) was released on L.P., E.P., 45 and CD at a release gig at Nivara Lounge on 24 November 2018, followed by a short concert tour to Auckland, Taupo, Tauranga and Waihi Beach. 2019 and Chris has been writing, recording and playing a few gigs (at cafe 88 in Mt.Maunganui).....his new album, "Woodsheddin'" ( an EP and Audio-Cassette release on Pinenut Records) will be released in November 2019 to coincide with gigs in Hamilton(The Fringe Festival),The Bowentown(Waihi Beach), Mt.Maunganui(Cafe 88), Taupo(Cafe 99), The Taihape Musicians Club, Palmerston North (Massey University), and The Alexander Turnbull Library in Wellington.Update; touring completed, and as of November 2019, Chris Thompson has returned to Hamilton, and is living in Galloway St. in Hamilton East.2020, and Chris now has a trio with Jordan Rex Carpenter (bass) and Alex Deane (congas) and they are playing cafe gigs in and around Hamilton. Next one is Demi-Urgos Cafe, Victoria St. this Sat. Feb 22nd at midday. Free admission, all welcome. Chris also now has a Fan Club, started by some old and dear friends here in Hamilton. It's a Facebook thing;


Chris Thompson (Anthology) cover art

as Chris and Lynne Thompson:


External Links

White Sapphire cover


Videos on Youtube: