Artist Profiles: Fairport Convention

Fairport Convention in 2019

Fairport Convention is an influential English folk rock and electric folk band. The group was created in 1967 and is widely regarded as the most important act in the English folk rock movement.

The group was started by bassist Ashley Hutchings and guitarist Simon Nicol who played in the Ethnic Shuffle Orchestra. They started Fairport Convention along with Richard Thompson on guitar and Shaun Frater on drums. Frater was soon replaced by Martin Lamble. Judy Dyble became their lead singer.

Early lineup of Fairport Convention

Folk singer Sandy Denny, who had recorded with Strawbs, replaced Judy in 1968. She recorded three albums with Fairport Convention; What We Did on Our Holidays (1969), Unhalfbricking (1969), and Liege & Lief (1969). Sandy left the band in late 1969 although she returned in 1974 for another two years.

The essential Fairport Convention album Liege & Lief is considered to have launched the electric folk or English folk rock movement which provided a distinctively English identity to rock music and helped awaken much wider interest in traditional music in general.

The large number of musicians and singer-songwriters who have been part of the band are among the most highly regarded and influential musicians of their era and have gone on to participate in a large number of important bands or enjoyed important solo careers.

Since 1979 Fairport Convention has hosted the Cropredy Festival which is the largest such annual event in England.

Individually and collectively the members of Fairport Convention have received numerous awards recognizing their contribution to music and culture.

The group is still active and continues to record and tour.

The lineup in 2019 included Simon Nicol on guitar and vocals; Dave Pegg on bass; Chris Leslie on fiddle, mandolin and vocals; Ric Sanders on violin; and Gerry Conway on drums and percussion.

Discography

Fairport Convention (1968)
What We Did on Our Holidays (1969)
Unhalfbricking (1969)
Liege & Lief f (1969)
Full House (197)
Angel Delight (1971)
Babbacombe Lee (1971)
Rosie (1973)
Nine (1973)
Rising for the Moon (1975)
Gottle OGeer (1976)
The Bonny Bunch of Roses (1977)
Tipplers Tales (1978)
Gladys Leap (1985)
Expletive Delighted! (1986)
Red & Gold (1989)
The Five Seasons (1990)
Jewel in the Crown (1995)
Old New Borrowed Blue (1996)
Who Knows Where the Time Goes? (1997)
The Wood and the Wire (1999)
XXXV (2002)
Over the Next Hill (2004)
Sense of Occasion (2007)
Festival Bell (2011)
By Popular Request (2012)
Myths and Heroes (Matty Grooves, 2015)

Author: Angel Romero

Angel Romero y Ruiz has been writing about world music music for many years. He founded the websites worldmusiccentral.org and musicasdelmundo.com. Angel is also co-founder of the Transglobal World Music Chart. Angel has also produced and remastered world music studio albums and compilations for labels such as Alula Records, Ellipsis Arts, and Music of the World.
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