Fairport Convention

By Popular Request - Matty Groves 2012

Tracks: 1. Walk Awhile / 2. Crazy Man Michael / 3. The Hiring Fair / 4. The Hexampshire Lass / 5. Red and Gold / 6. Sir Patrick Spens / 7. Genesis Hall / 8. Farewell Farewell / 9. Rosie / 10. Matty Groves / 11. Fotheringay / 12. Jewel in the Crown / 13. Meet on the Ledge


I bought this CD as a souvenir at a fantastic concert with Fairport Convention in March 2014 in Herning here in Denmark. I was a huge fan of the group in the 1970’s , when the group were frequent guests in Denmark and they were quite a big name on both smaller and larger scenes, like the Roskilde Festival. I did, however, eventually lose a little interest to the group partly due to the weak ”Gottle O'Geer” album from 1976 - the two subsequent albums were admittedly quite good , but time was perhaps running out for folk- rock with the advent of punk and new-wave at end of the 1970s.

It was therefore an unexpected and very positive experience to revisit the group live in 2014. Among the current line-up, it is actually only Dave Pegg , whom I have previously seen live, and on this tour Pegg was unable to play due to minor accident and was replaced by his equally excellent son Matt Pegg. Original member Simon Nicol had recently left the group when I first saw them in 1972.

I think group played almost everything on this CD at the concert, making it an ideal souvenir. The numbers are selected favorites among the group's fans, re-recorded in 2012.

One might fear that these remakes would seem a little flat, compared with the originals featuring people like Dave Swarbrick , Richard Thompson and Sandy Denny . It is in fact not the case. The new versions are characterized by their well-known musical competence and enthusiasm .

Most songs come from the golden period with Island Records, and logically drawn from the great albums "What We Did in Our Holidays" , "Unhalfbricking" and "Liege and Lief" . I am especially excited about the new version of "Farewell Farewell" which somehow seems a little understated on "Liege and Lief".

So new for me were actually only three tracks , "The Hiring Fair", "Red and Gold" and "Jewel in the Crown" - all three tracks are now new favorites , and I can see that I will have to explore deeper in the group post "Tipplers Tales" albums .

The two "new" members Chris Leslie and Ric Sanders fall perfectly into the band with the more experienced Dave Pegg , Gerry Conway and Simon Nicol, who besides being an excellent guitar player also has developed into a fine singer well complemented by Leslie.

Back to Band pages