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Fairport Convention: 35th Anniversary Concert (DVD)

Recorded at the lovely Anvil Theatre in Basingstoke, England in 2002, Fairport Convention's 35th Anniversary Concert amply conveys the charm and warmth of a Fairport gig. For two hours, the brown ale flows, good humor warms the heart and folk songs that are hundreds of years old fill the air once again. For those who may not know, albums such as Unhalfbricking, Liege and Lief and Full House are all masterpieces that must be investigated immediately.

Forget trying to unravel the family tree that is Fairport Convention; lineup changes have become as second nature as the next pub visit for these venerable folk rockers. Suffice to say that guitarist/vocalist Simon Nicol is the only member from the original lineup that once included the formidable team of Richard Thompson and Sandy Denny. But bassist Dave Pegg has been with the band since 1970 and has become every bit the leader and spokesperson for Fairport as Simon Nicol. Rounding out the current lineup is drummer Gerry Conway, multi instrumentalist Chris Leslie and violinist Ric Sanders.

More than a mere "greatest hits" set list, the 35th Anniversary Concert contains several new songs from Fairport's then current IIIV studio album as well as a few relatively obscure gems such as ""Hexamshire Lass" from Nine and "Banks of the Sweet Prim Roses", originally from Angel Delight. The latter was updated and rerecorded for the IIIV album and sits proudly among other tracks like "The Crowd" and "My Love is in America". For all the merrily drunken silliness, the concert ends with the sobering trilogy of "Hiring Fair", "Matty Groves" and the evergreen "Meet on the Ledge". Without a doubt, these songs are cornerstones of the entire British folk rock movement.

The DVD features a solid 5.1 surround sound track, while the picture quality leaves a little to be desired. There is an odd shimmering effect when there is movement on stage, probably the result of a PAL to NTSC conversion. Finally, we have an interview with Fairporters Simon Nicol, Dave Pegg and Chris Leslie reflecting on the concert, as well as the annual Cropredy folk festival and the band's lengthy history. So pour a few pints, sit back and for a couple of hours, let The Chaps turn back the clock a few hundred years.

Track Listing

  1. Walk Awhile
  2. Banks of the Sweet Primroses
  3. Happy Man
  4. The Crowd
  5. My Love is in America
  6. Madeleine
  7. The Deserter
  8. Medley: Everything But the Skirl/Let There Be Drums
  9. Talking About My Love
  10. Light of Day
  11. Portmeirion
  12. Crazy Man Michael
  13. The Wood and the Wire
  14. Hexamshire Lass
  15. John Gaudie
  16. Hiring Fair
  17. Matty Groves
  18. Meet on the Ledge

Added: May 28th 2007
Reviewer: Steve Pettengill
Related Link: Official Fairport Convention Page
Hits: 3058
Language: english

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