Fairport’s Cropredy Convention announces Brian Wilson as headliner

Brian Wilson at Fairport's Cropredy Convention
Photograph courtesy of CNN

Fairport’s Cropredy Convention music festival have announced that Brian Wilson will perform the legendary Beach Boys album Pet Sounds at Cropredy on Thursday 9 August 2018.

Acclaimed for its ambition and sophistication, Pet Sounds is widely acknowledged as one of the most influential albums of all time. Released in 1966, Wilson’s masterpiece is number 2 in the Rolling Stone ‘500 Greatest Albums Of All Time’ list, only beaten to the top spot by The Beatles’ Sgt Pepper.

The festival will be held over three days (Thursday 9, Friday 10 and Saturday 11 August 2018) at Cropredy near Banbury, Oxfordshire.

Thursday opens with host band Fairport Convention who will play a short welcome set. Fairport are followed by Smith & Brewer, a talented Americana guitar duo featuring close harmony vocals. Police Dog Hogan deliver their own brand of exhilarating Country-tinged rock. Ever-popular folkrockers Oysterband will make their first appearance at Cropredy since 2004 and they will be followed by Thursday’s headliner, Brian Wilson.

On Friday,Cropredy will open with a set by the BBC Young Folk Award winner followed by newcomers Midnight Skyracer who describe their music as ‘Anglo-Irish girl-power Bluegrass’. Favourites of the Cropredy crowd The Travelling Band make a welcome return with their blend of Mancunian Americana and indie folkrock. Cregan & Co features Jim Cregan, best known for his associations with Family, Cockney Rebel and Rod Stewart. Le Vent du Nord will perform traditional Québécois music with infectious enthusiasm before former frontman of Marillion, Fish makes his second appearance at Cropredy. Mercury-nominee Kate Rusby (Folk Singer of the Year and Best Live Act winner at the BBC Folk Awards) makes her Cropredy debut before Friday’s headline act Levellers celebrate their thirtieth anniversary with a welcome return to Cropredy.

Saturday sees BAFTA nominee Richard Digance getting the day off to a flying start. Sets from Eric Sedge and The Bar-Steward Sons of Val Doonican precede singer-songwriter Will Varley who makes his first appearance at Cropredy with his band.  Folk Award winner Sam Kelly & The Lost Boys are newcomers to the festival and so are Afro Celt Sound System who fuse traditional Irish and West African music in a thrilling mix. They will be followed by a solo set from Scottish singer-songwriter Al Stewart before Fairport Convention and guests take the stage for their traditional two-hour-plus Saturday headline show.

Festival website: http://www.fairportconvention.com/

‘God Only Knows’ – live:

Golden anniversary show at Cropredy 2017

Click on the photo below to see the full set...

Cropredy 2017


Festival-goers attending Fairport’s Cropredy Convention in Oxfordshire enjoyed three days of diverse music in fine weather when the event took place on 10-12 August.

“We had a really great three days,” said Festival Director Gareth Williams. “The music was terrific and our crowd loved the variety of the line-up.”

“During the run-up we were a bit worried about the weather,” Mr Williams continues. But luckily the rain held off for the festival and the ground had dried out by the time we opened.  Everybody was in great spirits, everything ran smoothly and there were no incidents to report. We heard a lot of great comments from people telling us how much they were enjoying themselves.”

‘Suzanne’ – Fairport Convention live at Cropredy:

Fairport is celebrating its golden anniversary this year and their marathon three-hour-plus show on the Saturday night reflected this landmark. Their Cropredy finale featured the current five-piece line-up, six former band members and four other guests from Fairport’s musical family.

This year’s festival completely sold out; in fact, it reached its capacity of 20,000 back in June. “Quite a few of people turned up on spec but, sadly, we had to turn them away,” said Mr Williams.

‘Reno Nevada’ – Fairport Convention live at Cropredy:

Next year, Fairport’s Cropredy Convention takes place on Thursday 9, Friday 10, and Saturday 11 August 2018.

First acts announced for Fairport’s Cropredy Convention 2017

Cropredy Convention

Fairport Convention has announced acts booked so far to appear at Fairport’s Cropredy Convention music festival in 2017. The line-up is not yet finalised and late additions will be announced in January. The three-day event takes place on Thursday 10, Friday 11 and Saturday 12 August 2017.

The festival will celebrate Fairport Convention’s Golden Anniversary with performances by many former members as well as the band’s current line-up.

Thursday’s headline act is The Divine Comedy. Fronted by Neil Hannon, the band’s repertoire is rich in Top 40 hits and their sumptuous orchestral sound is complemented by acerbic and sophisticated lyrics.

Former Fairport member Richard Thompson is a regular at Cropredy and this year will be playing on Friday evening.

Show of Hands features Steve Knightley and Phil Beer. The duo return to Cropredy after a ten-year absence.

Feast Of Fiddles presents six of Britain’s finest fiddlers backed by a five-piece band in a musical extravaganza of dazzling instrumental virtuosity.

Multi-instrumentalist duo The Pierce Brothers return by popular request. Jack and Pat Pierce stormed their Cropredy debut in 2016 earning themselves a repeat invitation.

A Cropredy first appearance for composer, songwriter, singer and multi-instrumentalist Dougie MacLean, one of Scotland’s best-loved solo performers.

Making a welcome return to Cropredy, Marillion pioneered the British ‘neo-prog’ genre and remains one of the most innovative bands on the UK prog scene.

Formed in 2016 Cats in Space is a power-pop seven-piece playing high quality 1970s ‘commercial rock’ with a contemporary twist.

Former Steeleye Span fiddler Peter Knight’s Gigspanner Big Band makes its first appearance at Cropredy.

Characterised by his energy and enthusiasm on stage, Gerry Colvin performs beautifully-crafted imaginative songs.

Cropredy will also present a set by the winner(s) of the BBC Radio 2 Young Folk Award.

Golden Anniversary performances at Cropredy

Saturday’s afternoon programme will start with a triple bill of performances from ‘early years’ former members of Fairport – Ashley Hutchings, Judy Dyble and Iain Matthews – as part of the anniversary celebration.

Ashley Hutchings founded Fairport Convention and at Cropredy 2017 he will present Morris On, a spectacular of traditional music and dance. Fairport’s original female vocalist Judy Dyble will be performing with Band of Perfect Strangers, her regular musical collaborators. Iain Matthews, Fairport’s first male lead singer will be joined by Andy Roberts and Mark Griffiths to present Plainsong, a harmonic blend of English folk-rock and American alt-country.

There will be two chances to see Fairport Convention co-founder Richard Thompson. He will play a full set in his own right on Friday then join Fairport on Saturday evening.

Fairport Convention will celebrate their fifty years with a marathon performance to close the festival on Saturday. Joined on stage by former members and guests, their set will feature the very best from half a century of musicmaking. Fairport will also play on Thursday when the festival will open with a short welcoming set by the band’s semi-acoustic line-up.

Cropredy tickets on sale for Christmas

Fairport Convention is putting three-day festival tickets on sale in time for Christmas. The online box office will open on Sunday 11 December 2016 and tickets will remain on sale for one week. UK orders will be mailed Special Delivery at no extra cost to ensure delivery in time for Christmas.

The box office will re-open on Wednesday 1 February 2017 when all concert tickets and camping tickets will be available.

Pre-Christmas three-day concert tickets cost £125 and are exclusively available from Fairport Convention’s website fairportconvention.com. Camping tickets cost £45 for three nights.

The Chris Leslie Interview Cropredy 2014

Chris LeslieMany of our readers will know Chris as; the key songwriter in the current line-up of Fairport Convention, a top notch multi-instrumentalist, vocalist and all round good egg. What you may not know, is that he has a gem of a solo career going on the side as well.

When Nancy Dunham reviewed Chris Leslie’s last solo album, “Origins” for folking, in February 2014, there was a reference made to the Cropredy 2008 interview that Paul Johnson and I did, when Chris joked that the festival site was the center of the universe.

So, it will most likely not surprise any of our folking space cadets that Johno and I set our guidance controls to the center of the Cropredy festival star constellation again this year on a mission critical objective for a 2014 Galactic Commander Leslie debrief!

Chis&Johno_Croppers_14

As the saying goes, many a truth is said in jest. So it may well be in this instance. Leslie’s traveled a long way, literally and figuratively, since he was a young, self-taught fiddler in Banbury, dreaming of joining Fairport. And while he’s won acclaim for his work with the band and his mastery of an array of other musical genres, it’s clear his allegiance is to the Fairport-styled Folk that captured his youthful heart. Indeed, Oxfordshire remains the center of his universe. NANCY DUNHAM

Chris_folkmaster&johno_cropper14In this new interview Paul Johnson finally attempts to say “Downloadable Interview”, and we talk to Mr. Leslie about his last solo album “Origins” , where it was recorded, the intimacy of the recording itself and peoples reaction to it.

Chris also explains how the solo project took shape, how the solo tour was received last year and his love of his favourite tenor guitar.

Chris Leslie’s latest solo tour dates in October are also discussed (detailed below) and we get a little bit more detail about the plans for the forthcoming new Fairport album and the Leslie contribution to it. Click the play button below to listen to the interview.

If you would like to order a copy of an album (CD or Vinyl format), download a copy or just listen to snippets of selected tracks then click below to be taken to our associated partner Amazon’s website (use the left and right arrows below to scroll along or back to see the full selection).

Buying through Amazon on folking.com helps us to recover a small part of our running costs, so please order anything you need as every little purchase helps us.

To find out more about what Chris Leslie is doing and/or to order “Origins” visit – http://www.chrislesliemusic.co.uk/

Big thanks to Roger Sutton for taking the interview photos – get well soon mate.

the folkmaster

Folking Interview with Simon Nicol

Simon Nicol 2011.

Excitement is building to fever pitch as Fairport gear up to celebrate their 46 anniversary at this years “Cropredy Convention”. With this in mind, we thought it was the right time to re-run the interview that Paul Johnson did with Simon Nicol at Cropredy, back in 2011.

Paul’s schmoozing at the beginning of the interview leads him into a false sense of security and at times his interview technique morphs into Alan Partridge. Subjects include; the weather, Fairport opening the Thursday night for the first time, increasing Cropredy media coverage and the inspiration behind the Festival Bell album.

Paul JohnsonPaul also gets a rightly deserved finger wagging from Simon when he is corrected on the fact that Peggy (aka Dave Pegg) was not in the band at the time of the hit single “Si tu dois partir”.

This week’s homework, “Johno” is to go back to class, brush up on your Fairport history, list the all the names of band members shown in the video below and write out 100 times “My favourite song in the whole word is Si tu dois partir”. The deadline to have it done by is Wednesday the 7th August!

It would have been more appropriate, if the song playing in the background during the interview was “Poor Old Paul”. Joking aside through, I thought the lad did a pretty good job but if you are going to interview Simon, its research, research and research or go into it at your peril.

Click the “play button” below to listen to the interview…

If you would like to order a copy of an album (CD or Vinyl format), download a copy or just listen to snippets of selected tracks then click below to be taken to our associated partner Amazon’s website (use the left and right arrows below to scroll along or back to see the full selection).

Buying through Amazon on folking.com helps us to recover a small part of our running costs, so please order anything you need as every little purchase helps us.

Larkin Poe and Thom Hell – THE SOUND OF THE OCEAN SOUND

Larkin Poe & Thom Hell (300dpi)Having toured internationally as The Lovell Sisters between 2005 and 2010, including performances at the Grand Ole Opry, Telluride and numerous other top venues and festivals, Rebecca and Megan relaunched themselves as Larkin Poe in January 2010, following the departure of eldest sister Jessica.

Still only in their early twenties, in just a little over two years as Larkin Poe, Rebecca and Megan have released five EPs and a live DVD and have performed with such luminaries as Elvis Costello, Fairport Convention and The Indigo Girls. During 2012 alone they have played headline shows at festivals across Europe including Beautiful Days, Celtic Connections, the Hebridean Celtic Festival and Fairport’s Cropredy Convention where they broke the festival record for CD sales.

During a particularly productive and rewarding year in 2012, they have also made guest appearances on new albums by Blair Dunlop and Gilmore & Roberts, rising stars of the UK folk scene, who were both recently nominated for prestigious BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards, which take place on the 30th of January 2013.

Now Rebecca & Megan present a first full-length album, The Sound Of The Ocean Sound, a collaboration with multiple Norwegian ‘Spellemann’ (Grammy) winner Thom Hell, and special guest Sola Akingbola (Jamiroquai). Luck brought them together when Thom attended one of the band’s concerts, and two visits to the studio later the 10 songs of The Sound Of The Ocean Sound were complete. The album was recorded in two periods over the last two years at Ocean Sound Recordings studio in Giske, Norway, where Travis recently completed their forthcoming album.

Sola Akingbola, long-standing percussionist with Jamiroquai heard a rough mix of the record after playing at the Nobel Peace Prize concert in Norway, and was so eager to play on the album he spent his only 2 days off during a 2 month long Jamiroquai tour, to lay down some exemplary percussion work.

The distinctive voices and harmonies of Larkin Poe and Thom Hell, combined with Rebecca and Megan’s signature mandolin and dobro sound, result in ten masterpieces of roots-inflected pop.

Larkin Poe & Thom Hell - 'The Sound Of The Ocean Sound' - cover (300dpi)The album also features Daniel Kimbro on bass, Chad Melton on drums and Mike Seal on guitar, all musicians who’ve played with Larkin Poe until recently. Norwegian producer Audun Borrmann recorded and produced the album in close collaboration with Larkin Poe and Thom Hell.

It will be available on CD, Vinyl and Digital download at the folking store below (RELEASE DATE MARCH 4 2013). The Sound Of The Ocean Sound features 10 tracks, six written by Rebecca & Megan Lovell, three by Thom Hell, and one co-written by Rebecca Lovell and Thom Hell in the studio.

“Though never quite abandoning the duo’s bluegrass roots the mandolin/dobro combination has clearly been harnessed to newly ambitious songwriting that’s taken a joyful, ultra-confident left-field swerve.” Acoustic

“Every exposure to Larkin Poe brings increasing evidence of emerging greatness.” The Herald

“. . . the 20-year-old sisters’ dynamic story-songs open up new realms of cream-fresh Americana” The Independent

“. . . rootsy, melodic, and reflective, not to mention highly irresistible.” Maverick

“With the Dixie Chicks on sabbatical, this could be Larkin Poe’s season in the sun.” The Observer

“What makes it all special is the pair’s ability to push the envelope, especially in the use of vocal arrangements . . . just when you think you know where you are, you’re taken someplace further. That’s a genuine gift.” R2

If you would like to order a copy of an album (CD or Vinyl format), download a copy or just listen to snippets of selected tracks then click below to be taken to our associated partner Amazon’s website (use the left and right arrows below to scroll along or back to see the full selection).

Buying through Amazon on folking.com helps us to recover a small part of our running costs, so please order anything you need as every little purchase helps us.