This first official history of the group candidly tells the Fairport Convention story in the words and recollections of its past and present members. Their history is one of musical revolution and evolution. It is a tale of friendships formed, Folk Rock invented and dedication personified.
Speaking fully and frankly about the music and its shifts in direction, the endless tours, the regular comings and goings within the group, the triumphs and tragedies, it tells the remarkable story of the survival by a group who retired in 1979 – only to play a reunion concert in Cropredy the following year. They enjoyed the reunion so much that they repeated it, and the now world renowned festival still takes place annually in the small Oxfordshire village of Cropredy.
Alongside the current line-up of founding member Simon Nicol, longest serving member Dave Pegg (who joined in 1970), Ric Sanders, Chris Leslie and latest recruit Gerry Conway, who joined a mere 15 years ago, are contributions from such pivotal players as Richard Thompson, Ashley Hutchings, Dave Mattacks, Dave Swarbrick, Jerry Donahue and Judy Dyble. In addition, there are previously unpublished comments from Sandy Denny and Trevor Lucas.
Fellow travellers helping tell the story include Joe Boyd, Robert Plant, Paul McCartney. Billy Connolly, Ralph McTell, Martin Carthy and John Peel.
This candid, unexpurgated portrait of not only Britain’s, but one of the world’s most influential and significant groups, offers a unique and thoroughly entertaining look at almost a half century of music making, touring, and festival-going.
About the author
Nigel Schofield first saw Fairport Convention band perform in 1969 and first interviewed them the following year. He has interviewed almost every long-term and ex-member of the band since that time. Schofield became Head of Music at Pennine Radio in Bradford in the 1970s, where he also presented a weekly folk show. Since 2000 he has been jointly responsible for the Free Reed label’ extraordinary “Revival Masters” series of box set career retrospective recordings.