Cropredy 2020 line-up announced

Cropredy

Fairport’s Cropredy Convention three-day open-air music festival announces the line-up for the 2020 event.

Now in its forty-first year, the festival will take place on Thursday 13, Friday 14 and Saturday 15 August 2020 on its usual farmland site in north Oxfordshire.

“We’re really pleased with this year’s line-up”, says Fairport bassist Dave Pegg. “It consolidates Cropredy’s core appeal, celebrates Fairport’s rich heritage and also introduces a wide and diverse range of music. It’ll be a particular pleasure to have Richard Thompson playing with us again during our three-hour headline set on the Saturday evening.”

Cropredy will feature two sets by host band Fairport Convention. On Thursday 13 August they will open the festival with a short acoustic set. On Saturday they will close the event with their customary extended headline performance.

Fairport’s Saturday set will include a fiftieth anniversary celebration of Full House, the band’s acclaimed 1970 LP. The Full House line-up of Simon Nicol, Richard Thompson, Dave Mattacks, and Dave Pegg will be joined by Chris Leslie (standing in for the late Dave Swarbrick) to play the whole album.

Thursday 13 August

Fairport Convention
Host band Fairport will open the festival on Thursday with a short acoustic set

Thumping Tommys
This London-based bluegrass outfit plays barn-storming blues-infused Irish, American, and English folk music.

Edward II
Cropredy favourites Edward II play a fusion of world music, folk and reggae blending the rhythms of the Caribbean with traditional British songs.

Clannad
Multi-award winning band Clannad has arguably done more than any other band to bring Irish music to a worldwide audience.

Trevor Horn Band
One of the most influential producers in popular music, Trevor has worked with Frankie Goes To Hollywood, Grace Jones, Pet Shop Boys, Seal and Robbie Williams among many others.

Friday 14 August

Maddie Morris
Cropredy will present a set by singer-songwriter Maddie, winner of the 2019 BBC Radio 2 Young Folk Award.

Emily Barker
A Cropredy debut for this acclaimed Australian singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist whose repertoire encompasses Americana, country and folk.

Home Service
Co-fronted by John Tams and John Kirkpatrick, Home Service is one of the UK’s best-loved folkrock groups and is characterised by a distinctive brass sound and great repertoire.

Martyn Joseph
Legendary singer/songwriter Martin returns to Cropredy with his rich voice and spellbinding songs.

The Slambovian Circus of Dreams
Hillbilly meets Pink Floyd in this surreal New York band. Rootsy psychedelia from the cool end of Americana.

The Sharon Shannon Quartet
Irish musician Sharon is known for button accordion, fiddle and whistle. Springing from Irish folk, her music reveals wide-ranging influences.

Turin Brakes
Indie folk rockers Turin Brakes are making their first appearance at Cropredy. They have seven studio albums and a million record sales to their credit.

Steve Hackett – Genesis Revisited
One of the most Britain’s most accomplished and celebrated guitarists returns to Cropredy. Steve’s extraordinary musical versatility draws on influences as diverse as jazz, world and blues to recreate the unique sound of prog-rock legends Genesis.

Saturday 15 August

Richard Digance
BAFTA nominee Richard returns to his traditional Saturday slot to get the day off to a flying start.

Holy Moly & The Crackers
Fronted by vocalist Ruth Patterson, this Newcastle sextet mixes British folk with dollops of rock’n’soul, indie, balladeering and a touch of psychedelia. They describe their sound as “riotous party music for the masses.”

The Bar-Steward Sons of Val Doonican
This comedy folk and parody band from Barnsley completely stole the show when they played Cropredy in 2018 and are back by popular demand.

Rosalie Cunningham
Rosalie Cunningham is an English singer/songwriter with a distinct style who has appeared on Later with Jools Holland and supported Jack White’s UK tour.

Matthews Southern Comfort
Fronted by ex-Fairport singer Iain Matthews, Matthews Southern Comfort plays melodic laid-back Americana.

Richard Thompson
Virtuoso guitarist and renowned songwriter Richard will take the Cropredy stage twice in 2020; in his own solo set and as part of the fiftieth anniversary of the Full House album.

Fairport Convention
Saturday’s traditional extended headline set from Fairport will include the band’s 1970 line-up playing the whole of Full House in album order plus the current line-up performing a wealth of material old and new.

Cropredy tickets on sale

Cropredy three-day tickets are on sale from today.

The first 1,000 orders will receive a Christmas card signed by all five members of Fairport Convention the first 2,000 will get a souvenir Cropredy car window sticker.

Tickets are available via Fairport Convention’s website www.fairportconvention.com

 

 

John Tams rejoins Home Service

Home Service

If you thought Home Service had gone a bit quiet of late here’s some good news – the band is back with some great gigs in the diary and the major news is that John Tams has re-enlisted alongside John Kirkpatrick as joint front man and lead vocalist. This is very exciting for us all and furthermore there are rumours of new material, which could mean we might see the boys back in the studio before long. A series of EPs is a possibility this time.

Main thing is, just don’t miss this rare opportunity to be blown away by the sheer might, grace and grandeur of the one and only Home Service when they come your way.

We have very sad news regarding dear and wonderful bass player, Rory McFarlane. Rory has had to stand down from the position of bassist owing to a currently incurable neurological illness, which renders it impossible for him to play. This is such a blow after most of a lifetime as a musician and our deepest sympathies are with Rory. We shall miss him terrnbly. Because of the terrible news that Rory can no longer play bass for us, we are enlisting the talents of another old friend, Rob Levy to supply the low notes. Welcome to the fold Rob!

The new line-up of Home Service played their first gig in Nettlebed on September 31st.

Artists’ website: http://www.homeserviceband.co.uk/index.html

A reminder of what was and what is to come. ‘Scarecrow/Ampleforth’ live:

Upcoming gigs

Friday ‪7th February 2020 – LOWDHAM VILLAGE HALL

Friday 3rd July 2020 – NEW FOREST FOLK FESTIVAL 2020

Friday 17th July 2020 – ‪St EDITH’S FOLK CLUB, Nr. SEVENOAKS

HOME SERVICE – A New Ground (Dotted Line DLCD002)

a new groundAfter quite a hiatus in band history Home Service march on with their terrific new album A New Ground. Losing three band members in a short space of time might have meant calling time on their 25 year history but no, Home Service are back, refreshed and folk rocking like never before.

It has taken a while to fit the band jigsaw back together but the result was worth waiting for with a vibrant set of songs fronted by the well-travelled John Kirkpatrick whose precise delivery of lyrics resonates with feeling throughout the album.

Home Service recognises the writing of A New Ground as a team effort. Such collaborations can result in disaster by committee but not here; each track is as strong as the next and each has the individual characteristics of a bunch of highly talented experienced writers challenging each other.

‘Kellingley’ opens the album with hints of a medieval riff, a philosophical tribute to miner’s strength and bravery but recognising the need for a cleaner planet; a familiar eco-ode but delivered with the passion only folk folk can do. Another familiar theme shines through in the moving ‘The Last Tommy’ written by a lady of many talents, Issy Emeney. Many a song and complete works have questioned the futility of war but this is something different, simple and powerful. “Three million young men marched away to war, a generation later, three million more”. Why? “I’m Free” is the refrain.

After such a thought provoking start the album moves on in a lighter tone with a great version of ‘Papa Joe’s Polka’ that allows the band to flex themselves; this is followed by a more traditional tone set with ‘Arthur McBride’.

We then turn to 1683 with the album’s title track ‘A New Ground’ being based upon Henry Purcell’s ‘Here The Deities Approve’, a simple arrangement of keys and tenor saxophone hold the track together behind Fitzpatrick’s great delivery. John’s son Benji, freshly released from his own Bellowhead big band duties has penned ‘Wallbreaker’ expertly arranged by the Home Service team.

Our band of writers draw inspiration from diverse sources; ‘Dirt, Dust, Lorries and Noise’ was written by John Kirkpatrick for the 1990 anti-British Coal protest play The Dirty Hill which is followed by ‘The Kings Hunt’ a rousing 17th Century work given the full Home Service treatment with the band displaying their individual talents as the track builds; this will sit well with a festival crowd.

On it goes, each song a gem sitting beautifully in this wonderfully constructed album. Things mellow a little with ‘Melting’ which could have been picked from many a West End play but was actually written by Derek Pearce for his solo album Paradox. A fine piece follows with an uplifting arrangement by John Kirkpatrick of ‘Ten Pound Lass’ that seamlessly flows into ‘The Skies Turned Grey’; more cracking lyrics from Issy Emeney handled with tender care and affection by the Home Service arrangement.

The album exits on another high with ‘Cheeky Capers’; hints of Ska and early Specials – surely not! But this is what you get with A New Ground; it really is a delight at every turn.

Simon Goodale

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Artists’ website: www.homeserviceband.co.uk

‘Arthur McBride/Chaconne’ – no new videos yet:

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John Kirkpatrick joins Home Service

John Kirkpatrick joins Home Service

John Tams has announced his retirement from Home Service – we thank him mightily for all his work with us and wish him well!

“A combination of circumstance not least and most recently an 8-part television drama series has drawn me reluctantly to leave Home Service effective from September 13th 2015”, said John. “This decision, whilst difficult, aims to avoid compromising the future for Home Service at a time when my restricted diary would make forward planning impossible. There are no issues beyond this and I leave my friends and colleagues, some of almost 40 years standing, in the certain knowledge that they are ‘The best damn band in the land.’ I send them my fondest thoughts and support for their continuing success. I’ll miss you lads!”

We are excited to announce that we have now regrouped with two new members and a revamped brass section.

Replacing Tam would never be an easy task, but with John Kirkpatrick joining our ranks we have found exactly the calibre of character and musicianship required. John will take over the lead vocal role and add his inimitably masterful accordion.

Also, we must announce the emigration of Jonathan Davie to Thailand. Huge gratitude and best wishes are due to Jon, whose replacement has also taken a lot of consideration. However, we can heartily welcome the wonderful Rory McFarlane (ex Richard Thompson band) to join us on bass.

Furthermore, now we have John K on board, Steve King will be not only be gracing the keyboard, but freed to stand tall amongst the brass section and exhibit his skills on tenor saxophone, helping to create an even more dynamic sound. The new line-up has already begun recording a new album at Morden Shoals Studio – watch this space to follow its development!

We shall miss you both greatly Tam and Jon, but know that you both wish the band all good fortune in its future voyage of discovery…

Artists’ website: http://www.homeserviceband.co.uk/index.html

Dai Jeffries Interviews Graeme Taylor from Home Service

Graeme Taylor Rehearsals 2011.... Our very own Dai Jeffries caught up with Graeme Taylor last month to talk about his pivotal role in Home Service, the bands history, his accident and his other theater and musical projects.

The band has had quite a journey since the highly successful festival season in the summer of 2011 which put them back at the epicenter of the folk rock map, Home Service was then nominated in two categories for Radio 2’s Annual Folk and Roots Awards, where they secured ‘Best Live Act’ at The Lowry, Manchester in February 2012.

The reunion of this classic band came about after the discovery, in early 2011, of some previously unheard live recordings made by their faithful sound engineer on a couple of cassette tapes that had languished in the back of his wardrobe for the last 25 years. These recordings, made at the Cambridge Folk Festival in 1986, exhibited a power and commitment that was never fully captured in the studio, so a live album release immediately became inevitable.

Home Service was originally formed from the creative nucleus of the Albion Band line-up that produced the classic “Rise Up Like the Sun” album, singer-songwriter John Tams feeling the need to explore more contemporary themes in his writing and its musical interpretation. Songs like “Walk my Way”, “Alright Jack” and ”Sorrow” were anthemic observations on the unfairness of Thatcherite Britain and its social inequalities. The crushing irony is that they sound as potent now as they did then, thereby making this band’s work as relevant as ever.

Listen to Part 1 of the Graeme Taylor interview below:

Listen to Part 2 of the Graeme Taylor interview below:

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HOME SERVICE – Live 1986 (Fledg’ling Records FLED3085)

This recording should be a required purchase by every music consumer who considers themselves tuned in. My formative years of the folk-rock scene in the UK were amazing in that I was lucky enough to witness in their full glory acts such as Steeleye Span and Fairport Convention, the Celtic styled JSD Band and Five Hand Reel and the quintessential English sound of the Albion Dance Band and later The Home Service. Of course, it was pretty selfish of us to feel that the band should be exclusively the preserve of the ‘folk’ world and that we, in a way would smother the band’s very existence by classifying it ‘folk’ music.

Still, we’re lucky enough that from the vaults comes this more than welcome release lovingly restored by the band’s lead guitarist Graeme Taylor and released on David Suff’s excellent Fledg’ling Records. This time I hope that the band are given the air to breath and flourish without the stigma of pigeon-holing. In some ways this octuplet (I’ve always wanted to use that term) come across as a traditional imbued Jools Holland Orchestra with first rate vocals (courtesy of the legendary John Tams) and a wind/brass section to die for. Every song and tune on the CD strike the right note with not one track out of place and (all too rarely) leaves you clamouring for more. This is an album that will make you proud to be British without the feeling the music’s been hijacked by some football team or other for their own nefarious purposes so let’s just wallow in the grandiose performances of “Alright Jack”, “Battle Pavanne/Peat Bog Soldiers” and the mellow “Rose Of Allendale”. Still, enough talking…I’m off for a serious dose of nostalgia and hopefully there’ll be many more who will join me in saluting the return of one of this country’s greatest musical ambassadors.

PETE FYFE

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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. Can’t find what you are looking for? Search Amazon Store below.

Artist Web Link: www.homeserviceband.co.uk