Cropredy 2012 Interview with Dave Pegg at this years Fairport’s Cropredy Convention…

Glorious weather and a great musical line-up ensured success for Fairport’s Cropredy Convention this year as music fans enjoyed themselves at the three-day Oxfordshire festival.

The organisers have now announced the dates of next year’s event. Fairport’s Cropredy Convention 2013 will be staged on Thursday 8, Friday 9 and Saturday 10 August.

Although the continuing recession hit many outdoor events in 2012,  Cropredy’s ticket sales remained bouyant. And despite exceptionally wet weather recently, the 175-acre farmland site at Cropredy remained in perfect condition with no sign of the mud and flooding that caused problems and cancellations at festivals earlier this summer.

Folkings very own, Paul Johnson caught up with Dave Pegg backstage. Click the play button below to listen.

Big thanks to Dai Jeffries for the use of the photos.

“Attendance at Cropredy has held up very well given the current economic climate,” says Simon Nicol, Fairport founder-member and festival co-organiser. “Advance ticket sales were surprisingly strong and the sunshine boosted numbers over the weekend. Everything ran smoothly, the audience had a fine time, and the weather was about as good as it gets. ”

Festival Director Gareth Williams agrees: “The festival was a great success again. Were it not for the very wet weeks immediately before we opened we might have sold out. But even though there were a few tickets left at the end of the day, we are very pleased with sales this year. More importantly, though, we’re delighted our festival-goers enjoyed such a great weekend.”

This year’s festival saw Fairport Convention celebrating its forty-fifth anniversary as a band with onstage appearances from many former members, among them Richard Thompson, Ashley Hutchings, Dave Swarbrick, Dave Mattacks, Maart Allcock, and Jerry Donahue. Offspring of Fairport alumni also performed at the festival including Blair Dunlop (Ashley Hutchings’ son), Kami Thompson (Richard and Linda Thompson’s daughter) and Kristina Donahue (Jerry Donahue’s daughter).

As in previous years, Fairport’s Cropredy Convention was filmed for Sky Arts HD as part of the television channel’s festival season. The programme, due to be screened on Sky Arts 1 at 9pm on Friday 31 August 2012 and repeated 2pm on Saturday 1 September, will be fronted by celebrated music broadcaster Bob Harris OBE. “I love Cropredy,” says Mr Harris, “and I’ve been coming for years with my family. The selection of bands and great weather helped to make this year really special.”

BBC Radio Oxford attended all three days of Fairport’s Cropredy Convention. The station’s coverage culminated in a six-hour festival special on Saturday which included a live broadcast of the entire Fairport Convention set.

As most of you are fully aware by now, Fairport are celebrating their forty-fifth anniversary all this year. By Popular Request was released as a result of that and is precisely “what it says on the tin” – an album of 13 songs, voted for by the fans and rerecorded by the current line-up of Fairport Convention. The album was produced by John Gale.

Here is the track listing:

01 WALK AWHILE 4:22
02 CRAZY MAN MICHAEL 4:41
03 THE HIRING FAIR 5:42
04 THE HEXHAMSHIRE LASS 2:30
05 RED AND GOLD 6:42
06 SIR PATRICK SPENS 3:34
07 GENESIS HALL 3:29
08 FAREWELL FAREWELL 3:01
09 ROSIE 4:16
10 MATTY GROVES 5:06
11 FOTHERINGAY 3:24
12 JEWEL IN THE CROWN 3:32
13 MEET ON THE LEDGE 4:23

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Dai Jefffries full photo collection from the festival is available at: http://www.flickr.com/photos/daijeffries/sets/72157631034934710/

Fairport Convention celebrated their 45th year anniversary today…

Fairport Convention, legendary pioneers of British folk rock and still one of the most enduring names in popular music, celebrated their 45th birthday today as band (Sunday 27 May 2012).

Happy Birthday Fairport!

Formed in north London during the ‘summer of love’, Fairport Convention played its very first gig on 27 May 1967 in a Golders Green church hall. Avidly championed by John Peel, the band rapidly became popular on the club and college circuit. A record contract followed and Fairport went on to ‘ invent’ the musical genre of British folk rock.

Fairport Convention went through frequent personnel changes in its early days nurturing world class talents such as Richard Thompson and the late Sandy Denny along the way. However, maturity has brought stability and the current line-up has been together for over a dozen years.

Fairport Convention has outlived most of its contemporaries from the fertile 60s music scene and, 45 years on, remains one of the busiest bands around. During that time, Fairport has won a coveted BBC Lifetime Achievement Award and Radio 2 listeners voted their groundbreaking album Liege & Lief  ‘The Most Influential Folkrock Album of All Time’.

Fairport Convention and its 45-year history will be the subject of a major music documentary to be screened on BBC4 television in summer 2012.

The current line-up of Simon Nicol (lead vocal, rhythm and electric guitars), Dave Pegg (backing vocals, bass guitar, mandolin), Ric Sanders (violin), Chris Leslie (lead vocal, fiddle, bouzouki, mandolin) and Gerry Conway (percussion and drums) still packs venues on its annual UK-wide tours.

The band is also well-known for staging one of the UK’s major music festivals, Fairport’s Cropredy Convention. Now in its thirty-second year the festival attracts up to 20,000 festival-goers and was described by The Guardian as “as much a British summer institution as Wimbledon.” The event is also a partner of the BBC Young Folk Award and provides a main-stage showcase for each year’s winner.

This year, Cropredy will also reflect the anniversary with special guests and Fairport alumni joining the host band on stage – confirmed guests include co-founding member Richard Thompson, fiddle maestro Dave Swarbrick, drummer Dave Mattacks and guitarist Jerry Donahue. Thompson will also play a headline set in his own right.

Fairport will be celebrating its forty-fifth anniversary throughout the year. The band started 2012 with a forty-date British tour, the concerts featuring songs from Fairport’s recent studio album, the critically-acclaimed Festival Bell, as well as material drawn from the band’s extensive repertoire.

By Popular Request is precisely that – an album of 13 songs, voted for by the fans and rerecorded by the current line-up of Fairport Convention and produced by John Gale. Fairport tell us, that they are absolutely delighted by the results and hope the fans are too. Here is the track listing:

01 WALK AWHILE 4:22
02 CRAZY MAN MICHAEL 4:41
03 THE HIRING FAIR 5:42
04 THE HEXHAMSHIRE LASS 2:30
05 RED AND GOLD 6:42
06 SIR PATRICK SPENS 3:34
07 GENESIS HALL 3:29
08 FAREWELL FAREWELL 3:01
09 ROSIE 4:16
10 MATTY GROVES 5:06
11 FOTHERINGAY 3:24
12 JEWEL IN THE CROWN 3:32
13 MEET ON THE LEDGE 4:23

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SUZY BOGGUSS – American Folk Songbook CD and Songbook (Loyal Dutchess Records LDR 1006)

When I took my first faltering steps into the world of ‘folk’ music my music teacher presented me with a book of American folk songs edited by Alan Lomax. That memory is once again evoked by this glorious collection of songs and what better way than to reminisce than with Suzy Bogguss. It sounds very much as if Ms Bogguss and I travelled the same road for isn’t it best that in the first instance you should ‘enjoy’ what you’re performing and if possible invite everybody in who’ll listen? If that is the case then this comes across in a presentation that is simple yet effective utilising amongst others the skills of musicians including Jerry Douglas (dobro), Stuart Duncan (fiddle & mandolin) and John McCutcheon on hammer dulcimer. Along with long time associate Pat Bergeson on guitar Suzy’s lyrical style is all encompassing with an easy going approach that will appeal to anyone who feels a kinship with predominantly traditional ‘folk’ music. Opening with the unrequited love song “Shady Grove” of which the melody in the UK is more recognisable as that employed by Fairport for “Matty Groves” (but nowhere near so gory) the catalogue of 17 tracks reads like a top of the pops list of those we have loved. “Shenandoah”, “Red River Valley” and Stephen Foster’s “Beautiful Dreamer” are all treated with dignity never allowing the arrangement to become indulgent thereby giving an honest, orderly representation of the chosen material. The hardback book is well laid out with piano accompaniment and guitar chords and Suzy’s informative notes make for interesting reading but not (thankfully) in a scholarly way. This project was obviously put together by someone who wants to convey the message that ‘folk’ music is good for the soul and if you’ll allow it you too can become an advocate. If the CD and book get the kudos they deserve I hope it won’t be too long before another recording is in the offing – perhaps with “The Titanic” and “Jesse James” amongst them?

PETE FYFE

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Artist Web link: https://www.suzybogguss.com/