The story of Henry Kable as told by a distant cousin

This interview was conducted and recorded by Tim Pennick, who lives in Suffolk. Tim and I are vaguely related by marriage and I asked him to re-edit the piece for us. The musical excerpts are from the original recording of The Transports.
Dai Jeffries


Many visitors to Folking.com will know the music of Peter Bellamy and the story of The Transports.

Henry KabelHenry Kable is believed to have been the first European settler to set foot in Australia. The transportation of Henry and his future wife provided the narrative for Peter Bellamy’s folk opera The Transports written and originally recorded in the 1970s.  Suffolk based historian Barry Cable discovered his relationship with Henry as a result of a TV documentary viewed by his daughter in 1988.  We spoke to Barry about his distant relative, Henry’s death sentence for theft, his reprieve, and eventual transportation to Australia.  The interview was recorded in the museum in Laxfield in Suffolk and includes mention of a number of nearby villages where Henry’s early life took place.  The interview is interspersed with excerpts from the 1977 recording of The Transports featuring the voices of Peter Bellamy and the fiddle of Dave Swarbrick.  The sound of the church clock of Laxfield recorded as we arrived, precedes the first excerpt.

Richard Thompson announces Acoustic Rarities

Richard Thompson
Photograph courtesy of Mojo magazine

Following the release of Acoustic Classics Vol. II to great reviews in August, Richard Thompson will release Acoustic Rarities (Beeswing via Proper Distribution) on October 6, just ahead of his UK tour that month. Acoustic Rarities is new recordings of some of the more obscure songs in the Thompson catalogue, some previously existing only as cover versions.

Richard Thompson was recently named by Rolling Stone as one of the Top 20 Guitarists of All Time and is one of the world’s most critically acclaimed and prolific songwriters. He has received multiple awards, including Lifetime Achievement Awards at the BBC Folk Awards and the US and UK Americana Music Association Awards, as well as Mojo’s Les Paul Award and an Ivor Novello Award for song writing. Thompson was appointed OBE in the 2011 New Year Honours List. Robert Plant, REM, Elvis Costello, Bonnie Raitt and many others have recorded his songs.

In addition to releasing Acoustic Classics Vol. II in August, Richard played a glorious Cropredy Festival, celebrating the 50th anniversary of ground-breaking group Fairport Convention, which he co-founded as a teenager in the ‘60s. A hugely popular live performer, Richard looks forward to hitting the road in October for his solo shows.

Tracklisting

1.What If (unreleased)
2.They Tore The Hippodrome Down (unreleased)
3.Seven Brothers (covered by Blair Dunlop)
4.Rainbow Over The Hill (covered by the Albion Band)
5.Never Again (released in 1975 on Richard & Linda Thompson album Hokey Pokey)
6.I Must Have A March (unreleased)
7.I’ll Take All My Sorrows To The Sea (from the orchestral song suite Interviews With Ghosts)
8.Poor Ditching Boy (released in 1972 on Richard Thompson album Henry The Human Fly)
9.Alexander Graham Bell (unreleased)
10.Sloth (released in 1970 on Fairport Convention album Full House)
11.Push And Shove (unreleased)
12.End Of The Rainbow (released in 1974 on Richard & Linda Thompson album I Want To See The Bright Lights Tonight)
13.Poor Will And The Jolly Hangman (released in 1970 on Fairport Convention album Full House)
14.She Played Right Into My Hands (unreleased)

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As close as we’ll get to a representative video: ‘Sloth’ – live with Dave Swarbrick:

Artist’s website: http://www.richardthompson-music.com/

Fairport Convention – 50th anniversary box set

Fairport Convention

July 28th sees the release of this lavish Fairport Convention CD box set, Come All Ye – The First 10 Years. Compiled by Andrew Batt, the curator of the very successful show, The Lady – A Tribute To Sandy Denny, which toured the UK in 2012, this collection celebrates Fairport’s first 10 years, beginning with their eponymous debut for Polydor in 1968, through all of their seminal albums for Island Records and finishing with tracks from their two albums for Vertigo, The Bonny Bunch of Roses and Tipplers Tales.

Of the 121 tracks featured here, fifty-five are previously unreleased. Highlights include key tracks from all of their classic albums, single B-sides, BBC Radio Sessions, five songs from the French TV programme, Pop 2 (December 1970), five songs from the television show, The Man They Couldn’t Hang (1971) and the audio for an entire concert at The Fairfield Halls, Croydon (December 16th 1973) plus two songs recorded live for the Scottish Television programme, Anne Lorne Gillies – The World of Music (1976). The set comes complete with liner notes by respected English writer, Patrick Humphries, author of many highly regarded books including,  ‘Nick Drake – The Biography’ (Bloomsbury 1998 ), ‘Richard Thompson – The Biography’  ( Music Sales Ltd 1997 ) and ‘The Many Lives of Tom Waits’ (Omnibus Press 1989).

Since 1979 the band have been hosting their very own yearly festival, Cropredy, the annual highlight of which is the Saturday night headlining performance by the current incarnation of Fairport Convention plus past members and guests. This year’s festival promises to be very special as it marks the band 50th anniversary.
http://www.efestivals.co.uk/festivals/cropredy/2017/

Formed in London in 1967, Fairport Convention are the hardy perennials of the British Folk scene and are credited with inventing the genre known as folk rock on the release of their influential album Liege And Lief in 1969. Over the years they have enjoyed a shifting line-up, which has helped to launch the successful solo careers of founder members Richard Thompson, Judy Dyble, Ashley Hutchings and Simon Nicol and subsequently the careers of Sandy Denny, Dave Swarbrick and Dave Pegg.

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Artists’ website: http://www.fairportconvention.com/

Not the best quality but a real piece of Fairport Convention history – rehearsing at The Angel and live on stage in 1970:

Fairport Convention celebrate their golden jubilee

Fairport Convention

Fairport Convention, the legendary band who originated British folk-rock, celebrate their golden anniversary this year. When Fairport takes the stage on Saturday 27 May 2017 for their birthday concert at the Union Chapel in Islington it will be fifty years to the day since their first-ever gig.

Formed by Ashley Hutchings in 1967’s “summer of love”, Fairport Convention is one of the few touring bands with an unbroken history stretching back five decades. They have been performing and recording more or less constantly since their inception.

Fairport Convention has been one of the most influential UK bands in popular music and has nurtured the careers of some great names, among them Richard Thompson, Sandy Denny and Dave Swarbrick.

The band saw many changes of personnel during its early years but Fairport Convention’s current line-up has been together since 1998. Simon Nicol, lead singer and guitarist, is the only founding member still with Fairport; bass player Dave Pegg has been in the band since 1970.

To mark its fiftieth anniversary year, Fairport Convention will be releasing a new album. Titled 50:50@50, half the tracks are studio recordings of brand-new songs and half are live performances from Fairport’s core repertoire. The album features guest vocals from Robert Plant and Jacqui McShee.

Fairport will hit the road in January on a UK-wide tour which starts at the prestigious Celtic Connections music festival in Glasgow. A second tour in early summer will include the birthday concert on 27 May before the band’s year culminates at their own music festival at Cropredy, Oxfordshire, in August. Fairport’s headline set will see past members joining the current line-up on stage for a reunion performance.

“Fifty years after I first heard them the mighty Fairport Convention still sound as good as ever.” Bob Harris, BBC Radio 2

According to the BBC Music website, Fairport Convention is “…undoubtedly one of the most influential folk collectives to have ever existed.”

Fairport’s seminal albums Unhalfbricking and Liege & Lief (both released in 1969) originated a whole new genre of music, British folk-rock, which celebrated English roots by combining traditional folk songs and tunes with amplified rock instruments.

This genre’s influence has percolated down the years touching artists as diverse as Led Zeppelin and Devendra Banhart, Fleet Foxes, Mumford & Sons, Seth Lakeman and Ryley Walker.

Radio 2 listeners voted Liege & Lief  “The Most Influential Folk Album of All Time’”

Mojo magazine listed Liege & Lief at number 58 in its list of “100 Records That Changed the World”.

Fairport’s story has been celebrated with several radio and TV documentaries and the band has won a BBC Lifetime Achievement Award.

Artists’ website: http://www.fairportconvention.com/

The Fairport Convention Interview from St George’s in Beckenham

Fairport at St George’s Festival for Beckenham 2016

It’s funny how some things turn out, when your path takes you somewhere that you were not expecting to go. It all started in the Kensington Village Hall (as Mr. Steve Knightley would call it) at that amazing Ralph McTell Albert Hall concert on the 12th May. I found myself sitting next to Ken Maliphant completely by chance. We got talking, and he told me about the St George’s Festival for Beckenham and mentioned that Fairport were playing on the 4th June and Ralph McTell on the 24th as part of it.

Now, Ken can spin many a “Tipplers Tale” and his story is very much interwoven with Fairport’s and the album of that name. Ken actually worked for the final record label the band was signed to at the end of the Seventies. In fact, as Dave Pegg mentioned last night, the Cropredy festival has a lot to thank Ken for as he was the main driving force behind organising the settlement figure when the label refused to fund another Fairport album. It was that settlement that financially built the first building blocks for the Cropredy festival we so love today.

After receiving the news on Friday about the sad loss of one my of my all time musical heroes Dave Swarbrick, this concert and the journey to it became a personal pilgrimage to celebrate the man and his music.

In my opinion, Swarb was the finest of English folk fiddlers and one of the most colourful characters that you will ever find on the English traditional and folk/rock music scene. He was a major facet to the gem that set me on my folk music journey all those years ago and a true inspiration to all of us at folking.com. Rest in Peace Swarb, you will be greatly missed. Keep those angels feet a dancing and that timeless twinkle of mischief in you eyes.

David Cyril Eric Swarbrick RIP
5th April 1941 – 3rd June 2016

Paul Johnson and I caught up with Gerry Conway, Chris Leslie and Ric Sanders before the concert last night and we recorded the interview below. Click on the play button to listen.

Darren Beech

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Folkstock Records – Peggy Seeger announced as patron

peggy-seeger

We are thrilled that Peggy Seeger has joined us as a Patron. Now we are supported by two of the most inspirational musicians of our times. Dave Swarbrick has been very generous with his time and commitment and we have loved working with Peggy on a number of projects in the last year.

Label website: http://www.folkstockartsfoundation.com/

“Folkstock is a label to hang your hat on. Helmed by Helen Meissner, they approach everything with a DIY ethos that is admirable and, also, successful. More importantly, Helen has a great ear for music and an obvious passion which comes out in everything they do. This is as much a showcase for them as it is for the acts featured. A well conceived, beautifully produced and vitally important record that couldn’t be coming out at a better time”. Spiral Earth reviewing The F Spot Femmes Fatales, which was released on 8th March”. Harry Harris, Spiral Earth.

“ a label that is nurturing some of our most promising folk talent” Clive Davis Sunday Times