Ivor Novello Award-winning and GRAMMY® Award-nominated legend Richard Thompson plays the Set Theatre as part of Kilkenny Arts Festival.

13 Rivers is the nineteenth and latest solo album by the British singer/songwriter. In 2017, Thompson began composing ideas for what would become 13 Rivers at his California home. “I wrote the songs as a group to hang together,” he elaborates.

“They belong together in some way and seem to possess a commonality since they were written in the same time and space.”

To capture this vision, he retreated to the famed Boulevard Recording Studio in Los Angeles. Known previously as “The Producers Workshop” and once owned by Liberace and his manager, the locale served as the site for seminal classics by Steely Dan, Fleetwood Mac, Ringo Starr, and Joan Baez. It also hosted the mixing sessions for Pink Floyd’s The Wall.

“It’s a funky studio that was quite popular in the sixties and seventies,” he says. “It used to be Hollywood trendy, but it fell into total disrepair. It’s still got some gaps in the walls. I like studios that are honest. It’s about the décor of the sound, and there’s a specific sound to Boulevard. Clay is a Beatles nut, so I could grab a Gretsch off the wall or dial into an amp that had this unbelievable tone reminiscent of The Beatles. They also say Liberace’s ghost still haunts the place, but I hadn’t seen him myself,” laughs Thompson.

Thompson’s influence can’t be overstated. Everybody from Robert Plant, Don Henley, and Elvis Costello to REM, Sleater-Kinney and David Byrne has covered his music.

13 Rivers represents another high watermark. “The songs are a surprise in a good way,” he leaves off. “They came to me as a surprise in a dark time. They reflected my emotions in an oblique manner that I’ll never truly understand. It’s as if they’d been channelled from somewhere else. You find deeper meaning in the best records as time goes on. The reward comes later.”

This promises to be a very special performance. Early booking is advised.

Fully seated show.


A limited number of €10 tickets will available for each event on a first-come first-served basis. To secure your €10 ticket, login to your Festival account or create a new account, add your date of birth, and the special €10 price will automatically be applied to your ticket order. Please note that ID may be checked at the door. If all €10 tickets for an event have already been sold, the discount will not apply.

Photo credit: Tom Bejgrowicz