Archive for the ‘Fairport Convention’ Category

Fairport Convention Harrogate Royal Hall 14 February 2023

fair tix 23A bit of an adventure. I always try and get to see Fairport Convention on their Winter tour. This year the nearest venue to me on their outing was Harrogate Royal Hall, some 70+ miles away from home. Not to be deterred I decided to ask my friendly taxi driver to take me on the journey down into Yorkshire. And so it was that last night my carer, Jackie, and I ventured south in the taxi towards the lovely Yorkshire town of Harrogate, leaving at around 6:40 PM. The journey was fine at first, however, my drivers Sat Nav decided to take us via Ripon, which led us down a country road which was thick in fog, so thick that he could barely see the road. Quite scary! Anyway, we arrived safely at the Royal Hall around 8:10 PM. The doors were closed and we looked around until we found one which was open and the guy who met us led Jackie and I towards the disabled entrance. We were soon seated in a nice vantage point in the Grand Circle overlooking the stage.

Royal_Hall,_HarrogateThe Royal Hall is a wonderful, exquisite, old, building (see image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons). I have been there twice before, once to see Camel and on another occasion to see the Groundhogs, Martin Turner’s Wishbone Ash and Focus as part of a Classic Rock package tour. When we arrived, Fairport were already on stage, just starting their first set.

FAIR 6 23Their official site promised: “Fairport Convention have been entertaining music lovers for over half a century, having formed in 1967. During that time the band that launched British folk-rock has seen many changes, but one thing has remained the same – Fairport’s passion for performance. This year’s Winter Tour will present a mix of long-established Fairport favourites and some surprises from albums old and new.”

FAIR 4 23The current band features founding member Simon Nicol on guitar and vocals, long-time member Dave Pegg on bass guitar, Ric Sanders on violin, Chris Leslie on fiddle, mandolin and vocals. This time round Fairport Convention were also joined on stage by former member Dave Mattacks on drums. Sadly, we arrived too late to catch the opening act Hannah Sanders and Ben Savage, however we did see them at the end of the show when they joined Fairport for the encore “Meet on the Ledge”.

FAIR 5 23Fairport always guarantee a pleasant evening with a mixture of fun stories, and songs old and new. The first set was exactly that with songs from their latest album and closing with “Sloth” from the 1970 Full House LP. “Stuffing their set with a surprising amount of new material for a vintage act, Fairport are still clearly having fun and brought the house down.” (The Guardian)

FAIR PROG 23During the interval I picked up a programme, signed by the band. Dave Pegg was, as usual, at the merchandise desk greeting fans and signing items. He kindly signed two programmes for me, one for me and one for my friend John in the USA. I also purchased a lovely little book which Peggy had produced to accompany a box set some years ago. The cover is full of images of him over the years (see picture). It was good to meet up with Richard Houghton, the publisher of This Day in Music books, for whom I have written several entries in his books which include fan memories of witnessing bands in performance. He was pleased to see me and was selling copies of his latest book which includes fan stories of Fairport Convention.

FAIR BOOK 23After a glass of red wine, we took our seats for the second half of the show. Once again, we were treated to a selection of songs old and new culminating in the traditional folk song “Matty Groves” and the always highly anticipated encore finale “Meet on the Ledge”. The vocals of Hannah Sanders from the opening act added an extra dimension to the song which of course was originally sung by the sadly missed Sandy Denny.

FAIR 2 23We left via the exit (see sign, courtesy of Wikimedia Commons) and were greeted by our taxi driver. The drive north was equally scary with a true pea souper fog that limited our speed. We eventually picked up carer number two, Elaine, close to 1 AM and they put me to bed just after 1:10 AM. An interesting, exciting, scary, yet worthwhile evening.

Stained_glass_panel_in_EXIT_door,_Royal_Hall,“Fairport is an institution, a festival, purveyors of memories, and keepers of the folk flame. But most of all they are a brilliant live band.” (Folk & Tumble magazine)


First Set: Walk Awhile; Cider Rain; My Love Is in America; Polly on the Shore; The Year of Fifty Nine; Steampunkery; Sloth.

Second Set: The Journeyman’s Grace; Banks of the Sweet Primroses; Bankruptured; Moondust and Solitude; John Gaudie; Portmeirion; Doctor of Physick; The Hiring Fair; Matty Groves.

Encore: Meet on the Ledge

Fairport Convention Whitley Bay Playhouse 2 March 2022

FAIRPORT TIXIt has been a few years since Fairport Convention graced our stages across the UK. As with many bands, the Covid lockdown has restricted their ability to get out on tour. So it was a joy for the band, and for fans like me, to witness their return to the north-east; this time to Whitley Bay Playhouse, which is a lovely medium sized venue. My wheelchair space was perched right at the back of the hall, looking down on the crowd and the band below; but with a great view of the stage and the concert. The format for the show remained as it always is. First the crowd is warmed up by the support act, this time Luke Jackson. We arrived during his performance, which was great by the way. He was soon joined by Fairport Convention who started their first set with the normal opening song “Walk Awhile”, which dates back to 1970 and the FAIRPORT PROGFull House album. A great opener to a great night.

After a few more songs, Fairport have a break giving time for a short interval, during which I buy a programme. The band explain that, because of Covid restrictions, they will not be meeting fans and signing programmes during the interval as normal. However, to make up for it, the programmes are all already signed by the whole band, with an honesty box in which to place my £10 for two programmes; one for me and one for my friend John in America.

FAIRPORT 1 22After a quick pint of Guinness I am off back up in the lift to my seat. The rest of the set is a mixture of old songs, and quite a few new ones from the new album. Fairport are showcasing tracks from the Full House album, which celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2020 and which will form a  major part of their performance at their annual Copredy festival in the summer, where they will be joined by old friends and members, including the legendary Richard Thompson. I always get the feeling that being in the presence of Fairport Convention is like joining a family get together. They are obviously all good friends and always make the audience feel very much “at home”. Original member Simon Nicol and long-time member Dave Pegg lead the rest of the band, who have now all been part of the family for many years themselves, through a series of songs which are the usual blend of traditional folk and rock music. The closing song is, as usual, the lengthy traditional folk story ballad “Matty Groves”. For the encore, as always, they are joined again by the support act Luke Jackson, for a joyful singalong “Meet On the Ledge”, taking us back to  1969 and the What We Did on Our Holidays album. A great evening spent with some peaceful, joyful songs performed by a band who, as I said earlier, made everyone feel “at home” with them.

FAIRPORT 2 22Many thanks to Jackie for the photographs and for Chris for coming to put me back into bed.


Set 1: Walk Awhile; Cider Rain; Don’t Reveal My Name; Lalla Rookh; Steampunkery; Sloth.

Set 2: The Journeyman’s Grace; Honour and Praise; The Year of Fifty Nine; Bankruptured; Moses Waits; Moondust and Solitude; Doctor of Physick; The Hiring Fair; Matty Groves.

Encore: Meet on the Ledge

My next concert was to be quite a change in mood, volume and tempo; Status Quo the following evening, which I shall report on soon.

Fairport Convention the Sage Gateshead 2nd of February 2020

Hi I am back again. After around 4 years without posting on here since my accident, I have decided it was about time I took the plunge and started to post again.TICKET1 So here is a report of the latest gig I attended. Actually I have been quite a few concerts over the last 4 years so I will try and catch up in the weeks and months to come and blog about each of these. My gig attendance has been curtailed somewhat, but I am still managing to go to see bands so I decided to write about it again.
Last week I went to see Fairport Convention along with my carer Lisa at the Sage Gateshead. I use taxis now to get around which makes going to concerts significantly more expensive. knife angelThe first thing we went to see, outside the Sage, was the knife angel sculpture. “The Knife Angel is a 27ft sculpture crafted out of 100,000 knives that have been surrendered to police forces across the country. It is also known as the National Monument Against Violence & Aggression. It was first unveiled in 2017 and has been touring the UK since.”Knife Angel

Then it was into the Sage to see old favourites Fairport Convention. First stop was to buy a programme, kindly signed by bass player Dave Pegg; one copy for me and another for my friend, John, who now lives in America. Peggy reminded us that he is the oldest member of the band and that this was his 50th year as a Fairporter. Once in the hall, which was packed, it was nice to meet up with old friend Mike and his wife Maureen. Our seats were in the normal spot, very close to the stage. SIGNED 1

I must admit I lost faith in Fairport Convention during the mid-70s, thinking that they had become too “traditional.” However in recent times I have returned to the fold and really enjoy seeing this band again. The format was similar to that of recent years. The concert began with support act  Smith and Brewer a close harmony Americano duo, who played a very pleasant set, warming the crowd up well. They played a short 30 minute set at which point they were joined by the members of Fairport Convention for a song or two. Fairport then continued their set including a short interval; the first set containing several numbers from their new album and the second set comprising several songs from “Full House” which celebrates its 50th anniversary this year.FP1 It was great to see them perform “Who Knows Where the Time Goes” in a version which did justice to the original. Closing songs were, as always, “Matty Groves” followed by the encore “Meet on the Ledge” for which they were joined by support act Smith and Brewer. Then it was back in the taxi and on my way home, picking up second carer Chris who had kindly agreed to help get me back to bed. All in all it was great to see Fairport Convention again, and I look forward to further encounters in the future. PROG 1

Setlist: Set1: Walk Awhile; Don’t Reveal My Name; Cider Rain; Good Time For A Fiddle And Bow / The Christmas Eve Reel; A Thousand Bars; Shuffle and Go; Moses Waits; Bankruptured; Moondust and Solitude. Set 2: Jolly Springtime; Steampunkery; The Year Of Fifty Nine; Farewell, Farewell; Sir Patrick Spens; Sloth; Doctor of Physick; Who Knows Where the Time Goes?; Matty Groves. Encore: Meet on the Ledge


Fairport Convention over the years

fairport I recognise the importance of Fairport Convention in the history of rock and pop music, and particularly folk-rock; however I have never been a massive fan of the band. I’ve seen them a few times in concert over the years, probably half a dozen or so in total. I used to play Meet on the Ledge a lot when I was younger; it featured on the lp You Can All Join In, which was a popular low price sampler album of the early 70s. Everyone at school had the album and Meet on the Ledge was a favourite track. I also had a Polydor 3 lp box set, which I think was called Pop Party, and had a couple of very early Fairport tracks on it, including If I Had a Ribbon Bow, which I thought was great fun. fairportprog I also love Where Does The Time Go. Some of their other material is just a little too traditional folk for me. Having said that I’ve been to see them a few times recently and always enjoy their shows. I first saw Fairport in the early 70s at a gig at Sunderland Locarno (or it could have Sunderland Top Rank; or possibly at both…..). I remember thinking that they were suprisingly loud for a folk-rock band. I then saw them as support act for Zeppelin at Knebworth. I also saw a few Fairport related acts during the 70s: Sandy Denny solo, Richard and Linda Thompson and Dave Swarbrick solo. The ticket here is for a Fairport Acoustic gig which David and I saw at Alnwick Playhouse five years or so ago. We both enjoyed the gig, which was in quite initimate surroundings. The programme shown here is from a gig in the early 90s, which I don’t recollect attending to be honest. I think I may have bought this programme at a car boot fair some years ago! The last couple of times I have seen Fairport Convention has been at The Sage, Gateshead; I blogged on those gigs when I attended then. My admiration for, and interest in, the band continues to grow over the years. Long may they continue.

Fairport Convention Sage Gateshead February 26th 2012

Fairport Convention Sage Gateshead February 26th 2012. Support Act: Kieran Goss
Marie and I spent a very pleasant evening in the Sage Gateshead last night seeing Fairport Convention. This time the band had chosen to visit the smaller Hall 2, which had been sold out for some weeks. We bought a programme on the way in, which Dave Pegg and Ric Sanders, who sitting at the merchandise table, kindly signed. Support came from Irish singer songwriter Kieran Goss, who delivered a short, but enjoyable set, before being joined by the Fairports for a nice version of Reach Out (I’ll Be There), the old Motown classic. This was Fairport’s 45th (!) anniversary tour, and for the occasion they asked fans to nominate songs, via email, that they would like to hear from their massive back catalogue. This has resulted in a set list with old favourites and a few surprises. We bought a programme calendar when we arrived and Dave Pegg and Ric Sanders kindly signed it for us. For me, the highlight of the night was a beautiful rendition of Sandy Dennny’s Fotheringay from the 1969 lp, What We Did On Our Holidays. The sound was crisp and clear; the Sage has wonderful acoustics. Setlist: Reach Out (with Kieran Goss);Sir Patrick Spens; Crazy Man Michael; Farewell, Farewell; Albert & Ted; The Cell Song; Genesis Hall; John Gaudie / Shetland Tunes; Interval: Mercy Bay; Fotheringay; Celtic Moon; Rosie; Jewel In The Crown; I Wandered By The Brookside; Hexamshire Lass; Hiring Fair; Danny Jacks Reward; Matty Groves; Encore: Meet On The Ledge

Richard Thompson Sage Gateshead Jan 26 2011

Richard Thompson Sage Gateshead Jan 26 2011
Will and I went to see Richard Thompson at the Sage last week. Will is now well into Richard, having got the latest CD Dream Attic in preparation for the show. I’m afraid I wasn’t so prepared, so the first half of the show was all new to me. However that didn’t stop me from enjoying the show. Richard’s band was spot on, and his singing and guitar playing was excellent with quite a few extended solos. The second half of the show consisted of a selection of songs from his “greatest hits’, a few of which I actually recognised.
Richard has been getting a lot of good press recently, and it is much deserved. The show at the Sage demonstrated just how versatile he is and how strong his songs are. His guitar playing is superb; he is under-rated as a guitarist and is up there with the greats.
Both Will and I agreed it was a great show from a true master.

Band: Pete Zorn (guitars, flute, saxes, mandolin), Michael Jerome (drums), Taras Prodaniuk (bass) and Joel Zifkin (violin, mandolin).
First half (Dream Attic) :The Money Shuffle; Among the Gorse; Haul Me Up; Here Comes Geordie; Demons in Her Dancing Shoes; Crimescene; Big Sun; Stumble On; Sidney Wells; A Brother Slips Away; If Love Whispers Your Name’
Second half: The Angels Took My Race Horse Away; Can’t Win; One Door Opens; Al Bowlly’s In Heaven; I’ll Never Give it Up; Wall Of Death; Tear Stained Letter
Encores: Take Care The Road You Choose; I Want To See The Bright Lights Tonight’.


Fairport Convention Sage Gateshead

Fairport Convention

The Sage Gateshead 22 Feb

Support : Anthony John Clarke

Went along to the Sage to see Fairport with my friend Will. This was the first time that I had seen them for around 30 years. I’d been to see Fairport Acoustic at Alnwick Playhouse just before Xmas, and had quite  enjoyed so decided that it was time to see the full band again.

We arrived in time to watch the support act who was pretty good. Fairport did two sets with an interval. I have to admit to not being familiar with much of the material; it was great to hear Who knows where the time goes and Meet on the Ledge again. I bought a signed poster and a programme (pictured below). Quite enjoyed them; will probably go again next time.

my programme

my programme

signed poster

signed poster