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Fairport Convention

Previous Appearances

  • Barking Spider Promotions - February 2001 - The Gaiety Bar
  • Barking Spider Promotions - February 22nd 2002 - The Gaiety Bar

Next Appearance

  • Barking Spider Promotions - May 7th 2003 - The Gaiety bar

STORY: DISCOGRAPHY: LINE-UPS

FAIRPORT CONVENTION - NOT SO MUCH A BAND, MORE A HISTORY OF FOLK ROCK...

In 2002 Fairport Convention are celebrating their 35th anniversary with a brand new CD, entitled "XXXV" and a world wide tour. On February 22nd the tour comes to Southsea's South Parade Pier, where they appeared before a packed house last year.

Late comers to Britain's best and most enduring folk-rock band, are often surprised when they delve into the back catalogue and discover that Fairport's roots were initially based on American folk rock. The first permanent line up (Shaun Frater, the original drummer, only played their first gig!) was Ian Matthews and Judy Dyble on vocals, Simon Nicol and Richard Thompson on guitars, Ashley Hutchings on bass, and Martin Lamble on drums. In 1967 on their eponymous debut album, Fairport sounded more like an Anglicised version of the Byrds, and featured songs by American writers such as Bob Dylan, Leonard Cohen and Joni Mitchell.

By the time of their second album, "What We Did On Our Holidays", Sandy Denny replaced Judy Dyble, and the sound of the band veered away from Stateside influences as they found their feet. The album features a taste of what was to come in a staggering version of the traditional ballad, "A Sailor's Life". Starting with Sandy's distinctive vocals, the song builds into an amazing twelve-minute epic, more rock than folk, featuring great interplay between Richard Thompson's stunning guitar work and the violin wizardry of special guest Dave Swarbrick. Not many people realise that Sandy was suffering dreadfully with a streaming cold on the day "A Sailor's Life" was recorded.

The changes of personnel continued; Ian Matthews left the band soon after the second album was released. And then tragedy struck. Simon Nicol, Richard Thompson, Richard's girlfiend Jeannie Franklyn, Ashley Hutchings and Martin Lamble were on the M1 on the way home from a gig when their roadie fell asleep at the wheel, and the van in which the band were travelling somersaulted forty feet over an embankment. The roadie went straight through the windscreen and broke both of his legs. Richard Thompson suffered broken ribs and concussion, Ashley Hutchings sustained a broken nose and cheekbone, whilst Simon Nicol, who had been asleep in the back of the van, escaped with concussion. Jeannie Franklyn and Martin Lamble lost their lives. Martin was still in his teens.

After the band gradually came to terms with the trsagedy, they slowly got back together, with Dave Mattacks becoming their band's drummer. Dave Swarbrick was persuaded to join the band on a permanent basis. It was this line up released and the seminal folk rock album "Liege and Lief". To say that this album blew the folk scene away is no exaggeration; it still stands the test of time as a true classic. Traditional songs such as "Matty Groves" and "Tam Lin" had new life breathed into them and the "Liege & Lief " versions have for many become the definitive interpretations.

As the sixties were ending, Ashley Hutchings left to join Steeleye Span, and was replaced by Dave Pegg. Sandy Denny then left to form Fotheringay, with her husband, Trevor Lucas. "Full House" was released in 1970 - it was to be Richard Thompson's final album with Fairport.

Now Simon Nicol was the only original member - until he also left in 1971! Sandy Denny returned to the group for a short while in the 1970s, and Simon Nicol rejoined in 1976. Sadly, in 1978 Sandy Denny died of a brain hemorrhage after falling down a flight of stairs.

Feeling despondent and irrelevant in the post punk seventies, in 1979 the line up of Nicol, Pegg, Swarbrick, and Rowland announced that Fairport Convention would break up after a farewell tour. The last gig was the farewell concert at Cropredy, a sleepy little Oxfordshire village on August 4, 1979. where many of the band live.The day before they had played the massive Knebworth rock festival. Fairport's swan song album was aptly named "Farewell, Farewell", after a Richard Thompson song from"Liege & Lief".

However, in 1980 they decided to hold a reunion concert, and the institution now known as the Cropredy Festival started. What originally started as a small gathering has now evolved into one of biggest (and probably the best) weekend folk festivals in Europe. The last day always features a marathon Fairport gig, often lasting over three hours, in which many members of the previous line-ups appear, with special guests augmenting the line up.

In 1984, Fairport's most enduring line up was formed. Simon Nicol, Dave Pegg and Dave Mattacks were joined by Maartin Alcock on guitar and Ric Sanders on violin, replacing Dave Swarbrick, whose health was ailing. The stayed together over ten years - no other line up had even managed to stay together two years!

Fairport Convention have become a much loved national institution. They've now been performing for over 34 years, as an ever evolving concept, carried on by musicians dedicated to the electrified British folk style that they pioneered on " Liege and Lief".

Though members come and go, the bands that members of Fairport Convention were also involved in are a veritable "who's who" of the folk rock aristocracy. Amongst these are Steeleye Span, (Ashley Hutchings); Fotheringay, (Sandy Denny, Trevor Lucas, Gerry Conway, and Jerry Donahue), Mathews Southern Comfort (Ian Mathews),Plainsong (Ian Mathews). he Etchingham Steam Band (Ashley Hutchings, Dave Mattacks & Simon Nicol); The Albion Band (Ashley Hutchings, Dave Mattacks, Richard Thompson, Ric Sanders & Simon Nicol), Sour Grapes (Richard Thompson & Simon Nicol), The G.P.'s (Dave Pegg, Dave Mattacks, Richard Thompson), and The Dylan Project (Simon Nicol, Dave Pegg, Gerry Conway, Ric Sanders, Chris Leslie and Maartin Allcock). This is by no means a definitive list - a list of Richard Thompson's sessions alone would fill an entire issue of "Folk OnTap"!

The latest Fairport line up - which have been together sice late 1997 - is Simon Nicol, Dave Pegg, Gerry Conway, Chris Leslie, and Ric Sanders. They will appear at South Parade Pier, Southsea, on February 22nd, where they are supported by Vicki Clayton. Tickets are 14.00

Tickets available from The Wedgewood Rooms Box Office, (023) 9286 3911 - credit card booking may be made.

Or write to:
Barking Spider Promotions,
41, Festing Grove,
Southsea,
Hants.
Cheques should be made out to BARKING SPIDER..
Please enclose a stamped addressed envelope.

STORY: DISCOGRAPHY: LINE-UPS

FAIRPORT CONVENTION - THE ALBUMS

  • Fairport Convention (1968)
  • What We Did On Our Holidays (1969)
  • Unhalfbricking (1969)
  • Liege and Lief (1969)
  • Full House (1970)
  • Angel Delight (1971)
  • Babbacombe Lee (1971)
  • History Of Fairport Convention (1972)
  • Fairport Chronicles (1972)
  • Rosie (1973)
  • Nine (1973)
  • A Moveable Feast - Live Convention (1974)
  • Rising For The Moon (1975)
  • Gottle O'Geer (1976)
  • Live at the L.A. Troubadour (1977)
  • The Bonny Bunch of Roses (1977)
  • Tipplers Tales (1978)
  • Farewell, Farewell (1979)
  • Moat on the Ledge (1982)
  • The Boot (1984)
  • Gladys' Leap (1985)
  • House Full (1986)
  • Expletive Delighted! (1986)
  • Heyday - BBC Radio Sessions 1968-1969 (1987)
  • In Real Time - Live '87 (1987)
  • The Other Boot (1987)
  • Red and Gold (1988)
  • The Third Leg (1988)
  • House Full (1989)
  • The Five Seasons (1990)
  • 25th Anniversary Concert (1993)
  • The Jewel in the Crown (1995)
  • Old New Borrowed Blue (1996)
  • Who Knows Where The Time Goes (1997)
  • Close to the Wind (1998)
  • The Cropredy Box (1998)
  • Encore, Encore (1999)
  • Cropredy '98 (1999)
  • Meet on the Ledge: the Classic Years, 1967-1975 (1999)
  • Kind Fortune (2000)
  • The Wood And The Wire (2000)
  • AT2/The Boot (2000)

STORY: DISCOGRAPHY: LINE-UPS

"FAIRPORT CONFUSION" - THE LINE UPS
(Including the Cropredy Reunion line ups)

  1. June 1, 1967
    Ashley Hutchings (bass) , Ian Matthews (vocals), Richard Thompson (guitar), Judy Dyble (vocals/autoharp), Simon Nicol (guitar/vocal), Shaun Frater (drums).
  2. June 1967- Spring 1968
    Martin Lamble (drums), Ashley Hutchings, Ian Matthews, Richard Thompson, Simon Nicol., Judy Dyble.
  3. Spring 1968 - mid 1968
    Martin Lamble, Ashley Hutchings, Ian Matthews, Richard Thompson, Simon Nicol.
  4. Mid 1968 - May 1969
    Sandy Denny (vocals), Martin Lamble .Ashley Hutchings, Ian Matthews, Richard Thompson, Simon Nicol,.
  5. Mid 1969 - late 1969
    Dave Swarbrick (fiddle/vocals), Dave Mattacks (drums), Sandy Denny, Ashley Hutchings, Richard Thompson, Simon Nicol.
  6. Late 1969 - early 1971
    Dave Pegg (bass/vocal), Dave Swarbrick, Dave Mattacks, Richard Thompson, Simon Nicol.
  7. Early 1971 - late 1971
    Dave Pegg, Dave Swarbrick, Dave Mattacks, Simon Nicol
  8. Late 1971 - early 1972
    Roger Hill (guitar.vocal), Dave Pegg, Dave Swarbrick, Dave Mattacks.
  9. Early 1972 - June 1972
    Tom Farnell (drums), Roger Hill, Dave Pegg, Dave Swarbrick
  10. June & July 1972
    David Rea (guitar), Tom Farnell, Dave Pegg, Dave Swarbrick
  11. July 1972 - early 1974
    Dave Mattacks (drums), Trevor Lucas (guitar/vocal), Jerry Donahue (guitar), Dave Pegg, Dave Swarbrick.
  12. Early 1974 - early 1975
    Sandy Denny (vocals), Dave Mattacks, Trevor Lucas, Jerry Donahue, Dave Pegg, Dave Swarbrick.
  13. Early 1975
    Paul Warren (drums), Sandy Denny, Trevor Lucas, Jerry Donahue, Dave Pegg, Dave Swarbrick.
  14. Early 1975- early 1976
    Bruce Rowland (drums), Trevor Lucas, Jerry Donahue, Dave Pegg, Dave Swarbrick, Sandy Denny.
  15. Early 1976 - mid 1976
    Bob Brady (piano), Dan Ar Bras (guitar), Roger Burridge (mandolin/fiddle), Bruce Rowland, Dave Pegg, Dave Swarbrick.
  16. Mid 1976- 4 August, 1979
    Simon Nicol (guitar/vocal), Bruce Rowland, Dave Pegg, Dave Swarbrick.
  17. Fairport Convention then disband, but from 1980 onwards get together in various line ups for the annual Cropredy reunions ....

  18. August 30, 1980 (the first Cropredy reunion)
    Simon Nicol, Bruce Rowland, Dave Pegg,
    with special guests:
    Ralph McTell, Richard Thompson, Linda Thompson, Dave Mattacks, Robert Jordan
  19. August 1981 (second reunion, Broughton Castle, Banbury)
    Simon Nicol, Bruce Rowland, Dave Pegg,
    with special guests:
    Richard Thompson Judy Dyble, Ralph McTell, Dave Mattacks
  20. August 1982: (Cropredy)
    Simon Nicol, Bruce Rowland, Dave Pegg,
    with special guests:
    Trevor Lucas, Jerry Donahue, Dave Mattacks, Linda Thompson, Brian Maxine, Phillipa Clare, Dan Ar Bras, Judy Dyble.
  21. August 1983 (Cropredy)
    Simon Nicol, Bruce Rowland, Dave Pegg,
    with special guests:
    Cathy LeSurf, Dave Mattacks, Ashley Hutchings, Richard Thompson, Linda Thompson, Alastair Anderson, Andy (of The Marksmen), Dave Whetstone
  22. August 1984 (Cropredy)
    Simon Nicol, Bruce Rowland, Dave Pegg
    with special guests:
    Ric Sanders, Cathy LeSurf, Wally Whyton, Matt Pegg, Ian & Lorna Campbell, Bob Davenport, Adderbury Theatre Workshop, Richard Thompson.

  23. 1984 (first "reformed" Fairport line-up)
    Ric Sanders (fiddle), Simon Nicol, Bruce Rowland, Dave Pegg

  24. August 1985 (Cropredy)
    Ric Sanders, Simon Nicol, Bruce Rowland, Dave Pegg
    with special guests:
    Billy Connolly, Richard Thompson, Cathy LeSurf, Ralph McTell, Trevor Lucas Jerry Donahue.

  25. 1986 - late 1996 Dave Mattacks (drums), Maartin Allcock (guitar/vocals), Ric Sanders, Simon Nicol, Dave Pegg.

  26. August 1986 (Cropredy)
    Dave Mattacks, Maartin Allcock, Ric Sanders, Simon Nicol, Dave Pegg
    with special guests:
    Ian Matthews, Robert Plant, Cathy LeSurf, Richard Thompson, Clive Gregson, Christine Collister, Mike Silver, Jerry Donahue, Bill Zorn, Jon Benns, Johnny Coppin, Gerry Conway
  27. August 1987 (Cropredy)
    Dave Mattacks, Maartin Allcock, Ric Sanders, Simon Nicol, Dave Pegg
    with special guests:
    Richard Thompson, Dave Swarbrick, Ian Anderson, Martin Barre, Ralph McTell, Jerry Donahue, Cathy LeSurf, June Tabor
  28. August 1988 (Cropredy)
    Dave Mattacks, Maart Allcock, Ric Sanders, Simon Nicol, Dave Pegg
    with special guests:
    Richard Thompson, Jerry Donahue, Sheila And Sheryl Parker, Tim German, Diz Disley
  29. August 1989 (Cropredy)
    Dave Mattacks, Maart Allcock, Ric Sanders, Simon Nicol, Dave Pegg
    with special guests:
    Ian Anderson, Steve Harley, Gary Brooker, Julianne Regan, Mike Read, Richard Thompson, Bruce Rowland, Sheila And Sheryl Parker, Chris Leslie, Fergus Feely, Dave Swarbrick, Gerry Conway, Martin Barre, Mark Tucker, Nigel Seymour, Tim Bricheno, Danny Thompson, Jerry Donahue.
  30. August 1990 (Cropredy)
    Dave Mattacks, Maart Allcock, Ric Sanders, Simon Nicol, Dave Pegg
    with special guests:
    Richard Thompson, Julieanne Regan, Vikki Clayton, Ralph McTell, Gerry Conway, B.J. Cole, Duane Perry, Francis Dunnery with Blinder, Jerry Donahue, Gary Brooker, Matt Pegg
  31. August 1991 (Cropredy)
    Dave Mattacks, Maart Allcock, Ric Sanders, Simon Nicol, Dave Pegg
    with special guests:
    Andy Fairweather-Lowe Richard Thompson, Julianne Regan, Vikki Clayton, Chris Leslie, Dan Ar Bras, Beryl And Roger Marriott, Anthony Thistlethwaite, Gerry Conway, Jerry Donahue, The Cropredy Horns.
  32. August 1992 (Cropredy)
    Dave Mattacks, Maart Allcock, Ric Sanders, Simon Nicol, Dave Pegg
    with special guests:
    Ralph McTell, Julianne Regan, Bruce Rowland, Dave Swarbrick, Vikki Clayton, Gerry Conway, Heather Wood, Geoff Hughes, Bryn Haworth, Richard Thompson, Jerry Donahue, Billy Bragg, Ashley Hutchings
  33. August 1993 (Cropredy)
    Dave Mattacks, Maart Allcock, Ric Sanders, Simon Nicol, Dave Pegg
    with special guests:
    Roy Wood, Robert Plant, Vikki Clayton, Heather Wood, Everything But The Girl, Matt Pegg, Jerry Donahue, Bryn Haworth, Chris Leslie, Ashley Reed, Ian Cutler, Tom Leary, Ben Bennion.
  34. August 1994 (Cropredy)
    Dave Mattacks, Maart Allcock, Ric Sanders, Simon Nicol, Dave Pegg
    with special guests:
    Vikki Clayton, Chris While, Gerry Conway, Roy Harper.
  35. August 1995 (Cropredy)
    Dave Mattacks, Maart Allcock, Ric Sanders, Simon Nicol, Dave Pegg
    with special guests:
    The Roy Wood Big Band, Joe Brown, Jerry Donahue, Chris Leslie, Neil Gordon, Gill And Bobbi (from Nice Girls Don't Explode), Spencer Richards, Richard Thompson, Tom Farnell.
  36. August 1996 (Cropredy)
    Dave Mattacks, Maart Allcock, Ric Sanders, Simon Nicol, Dave Pegg
    with special guests:
    Dave Swarbrick, Jerry Donahue, Allan Taylor, Sam Brown, Richard Thompson.

  37. Late 1996 - late 1997
    Chris Leslie, (fiddle, mandolin, vocals), Dave Mattacks, Ric Sanders, Simon Nicol, Dave Pegg.

  38. August 1997 (30 year celebration reunion, Cropredy)
    Chris Leslie, Dave Mattacks, ,Ric Sanders, Simon Nicol, Dave Pegg, and past members Richard Thompson, Ashley Hutchings, Dave Swarbrick, Jerry Donahue, Ralph McTell, Bruce Rowland, Maartin Allcock and Dan Ar Bras -
    with special guests:
    Vikki Clayton Cathy LeSurf .

  39. Late 1997 - present day
    Gerry Conway (drums), Chris Leslie, Ric Sanders, Simon Nicol, Dave Pegg.

  40. August 1998 (Cropredy)
    Gerry Conway, Chris Leslie, Ric Sanders, Simon Nicol, Dave Pegg
    with special guests:
    Loudon Wainwright III, Pete Zorn, Tommy Connolly Dancers, Anna Ryder, Rabbit Bundrick, David Hughes, Jacqui McShee, Matt Pegg, Maartin Allcock, Dave Cousins, Chris While, P.J. Wright, Steve Gibbons.
  41. August 1999 (Cropredy)
    Gerry Conway, Chris Leslie, Ric Sanders, Simon Nicol, Dave Pegg
    with special guests:
    Steve Ashley, Tom Leary, Gareth Turner, Tommy Connolly Dancers, Anna Ryder, Jerry Donahue, Maartin Allcock, Kristina Donahue, Dave Swarbrick, Maddy Prior, Jacqui McShee, Richard Thompson, David Hughes, Eddi Reader.
  42. August 2000 (Cropredy)
    Gerry Conway, Chris Leslie, Ric Sanders, Simon Nicol, Dave Pegg
    with special guests:
    Geoffrey Hughes, Maartin Allcock, Jerry Donahue, Kristina Donahue, Ashley Hutchings, Ian Matthews, Eddi Reader, Dave Swarbrick, Martin Carthy, Bob Fox, Roger Hodgson, Alan Simon, Alan Thomson, Steve Gibbons, Jacqui McShee, Beryl Marriott.
  43. August 2001 (Cropredy)
    Gerry Conway, Chris Leslie, Ric Sanders, Simon Nicol, Dave Pegg
    with special guests:
    Maartin Allcock, Vikki Clayton, Ashley Hutchings, Steve Tilston, Anna Ryder Chris Knibbs, Chas McDevitt, Kate Luxmoore, Chris While, Julie Matthews, Beryl & Roger Marriott, Dave Swarbrick, Tommy Connolly Dancers, Ian Anderson, Geoffrey Hughes, Martin Carthy, Norma Waterson, Jacqui McShee, David Hughes, Fraser Nimmo, Paul Kovits, Keith Donnelly.

Researched by John Roberts, October 2001.

Additional information about Fairport Convention can be found at their web-site www.fairportconvention.co.uk.


If you would like to contact Barking Spider, please email J.R. at spiderpromos@aol.com
or ring the
Barking Spider Hotline on: 023 9243 6267

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