Folk Rock Of Ages

Fairport Convention

Subscription Rooms


With the only one live performance at Wickham Festival, and a streamed concert from the Brasenose Arms in Cropredy Oxfordshire, under their belts in the last eighteen months, Britain's original folk rock band, Fairport Convention, have gleefully embarked on a nationwide tour that includes venues as diverse as Wells Cathedral and Lowdham village hall near Nottingham. Tonight was the turn of the Subscription Rooms.

Last year was the fiftieth anniversary of the release Fairport's seminal Full House album, so it was only fitting that the set opened with the up tempo 'Walk A While', which also starts the album.

The band have gone through numerous line up changes since 1970, but guitarist and lead vocalist Simon Nicol and bass player Dave Pegg remain from those days.

Other tracks from the album peppered the set list, the most memorable of which was the epic 'Sloth' that weighed in at just under ten minutes long and featured violinist Ric Sanders, in truly magnificent form.

However, it was not all classic Fairport songs from years gone by. Multi instrumentalist Chris Leslie's tribute to the recently deceased astronaut Michael Collins, 'Moondust and Solitude', stood out from amongst songs from the band's latest album 'Shuffle And Go'.

Playing as a band for nearly fifty five years has given Fairport a chance to hone their act to perfection and, throughout the whole set from ballad to instrumentals, from fast songs to slow, the band played to the highest technical standard which, mixed with their trademark banter, kept the audience in the palm of their hands.

All too soon the night drew to an end, as Fairport gigs always do, with a superb rendition of ex-vocalist and folk legend Sandy Denny's signature song, 'Who Know Where The Time Goes' and Fairport's anthem, ' Meet On The Ledge'. As a lyric in the song says: 'If you really need it it all comes round again'.

Let’s hope it's not too long before Fairport Convention come to Stroud again.

Ade Blair.