Fairport Convention

Fairport Convention (Band)From: London, England

This highly regarded folk-rock band from Britain is considered to be the most integral act in the development of a folk-rock scene overseas. Taking traditional British folk songs and altering them to their own unique pieces, Fairport Convention showed true musical appreciation. Also credible songwriters in their own right, Fairport Convention are one of the most important acts of the 1960’s. Personnel changes were always an issue that Fairport Convention faced. This flux of band members often caused the band to be without their most talented musicians, and lose their elite reputation after the early 1970’s.

Forming in 1967, Fairport Convention intended to play a style of music that was heavily influenced by the groups from California, particularly the Byrds. The band released a self-titled debut album in 1968. Members at the time of its release included Judy Dyble (vocals)Richard Thompson (guitar), Ian Matthews (guitar), Simon Nicol (guitar), Ashley Hutchings (bass), and Martin Lamble (drums). All of Fairport Convention’s early work was made up of both male and female vocals, with Matthews singing along with Dyble.

Later in 1968, Fairport Convention reached their peak. This wasn’t until after Dyble was replaced with the great Sandy Denny, previously recording solo material, as well as with the Strawbs. Denny quickly became the best vocalist the band ever had, singing on their two best albums What We Did on Our Holidays (1969) and Unhalfbricking (1969). The two albums combine great original pieces and amazing covers of contemporary folk-rock songs by artist like Joni Mitchell and Bob Dylan. The next album Liege & Lief (1969) is also considered one of the bands best.

Losing both Matthews and Lamble in 1969, the latter of the two having died in a car crash, Fairport Convention needed to find replacements. Dave Mattacks would replace Lamble, and Dave Swarbrick was brought in to play fiddle.

Over the years, Fairport Convention saw much turnover. Richard Thompson is regarded as one of the greatest singer/songwriters in the world. Ian Matthews released some solo material, as well as with Plainsong and Matthews Southern Comfort. Sandy Denney sang with Fotheringay and also released several solo albums before passing away. Ashley Hutchings went on to work with Steeleye Span, the Albion Band, and the Etchingham Stream Band. To this day, the music of Fairport Convention from the 1960’s is seen as the bands best material.

Artist information sources:  Richie Unterberger from Allmusic.com

(Also check out “White Bicycles: Making Music in the 1960’s” by Joe Boyd, the bands producer)

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Tracks played on Psychedelicized…

From the 1968 album Fairport Convention
Fairport Convention

  • Time Will Show The Wiser
  • Jack O’Diamonds
  • It’s Alright Ma, It’s Only Witchcraft
  • Suzanne

From the 1969 album What We Did on Our Holidays
What We Did on Our Holidays

  • I’ll Keep It With Mine
  • Nottamun Town

From the 1969 album Unhalfbricking

  • A Sailor’s Life
  • Si Tu Dois Partir
  • Who Knows Where The Time Goes

From the 1969 album Liege & Lief
Liege & Lief

  • Reynardine
  • Matty Groves
  • Tam Lin