Fairport are back in Woodworm Studios in October to record a new album - Shuffle and Go - which will be available on the Winter Tour; tickets are now on sale. We have 13 new items to record and are very pleased with the chosen material. It will be nice to be back on the road for a few dates in the UK and to be going to Portugal for Costa del Folk. We are working on a new tour programme too with some great help from Nigel Schofield, who has constructed a 1970 calendar of Fairport's activities.
2020 celebrates the 50th anniversary of the release of the Full House album - and marks my 50th year of being a Fairporter.
Please do come and see us and book your tickets for the Winter Tour.
See you soon, cheers Peggy , Simon, Ric, Chris and Gerry.
I sold a Guild 12-string that used to belong to Sandy in 2005 when Christine and I were divorcing. If any one knows of its current whereabouts Linda Kenis is very keen to buy it and give it to Sandy's daughter, Georgia Lucas, as a gift.
This is a lovely idea of Linda's and Georgia is playing the piano and the guitar now and would be over the moon to have a guitar that her Mom played.
If anyone can help please let me know at
There is a corner of an English field
That is for ever ‘Fairport’.
A ledge, where every August,
And join our friends,
To walk awhile with them
To Jonah’s Oak,
And listen for the Fairport Bell;
Sweet and clear,
Which drifts across the countryside
And pleases many an ear.
Two hundred years from now,
When time has flown
(Though who knows where?)
Will they still talk of days
When we all gathered
On this ledge,
Jerry, Ric and Chris -
England’s finest every one;
Reply with a resounding ‘Yes!’
No, Cropredy will not forget,
For Simon’s spirit will whisper still -
‘Same time next year.....’
- Steve Phillips 11/8/2019
Following the rapid sell-out of their 2020 Rhine cruise, Fairport Convention are delighted to invite you to join them in June 2021 on the trip of a lifetime along the beautiful River Danube.
Casting off in the wonderful UNESCO World Heritage city of Budapest and then taking in Bratislava, Vienna, Wachau, Salzburg, Linz and Regensburg, this is a unique opportunity to combine fabulous scenery, fascinating city sights and cultural experiences with luxurious accommodation, gourmet food, free-flowing quality wines and 5 nights brilliant entertainment from Fairport and Friends.
In this intimate setting you will have the opportunity to meet, chat and socialise with Simon, Peggy, Chris, Ric and Gerry who have promised to reveal some hidden talents - we will let you guess which band member is a keen magician, and which of them has ambitions to be a stand up comedian!
Click this link to find out more!
Peggy writes: "Back in 1977, myself and Simon and Bruce went for a couple of days to the lovely village of Southwold as guests of the Adnams brewery. Chris Leslie and his brother John, myself and a friend of ours Arthur Conduit had written the songs and music for a film about the brewing process and Southwold. We were forced to drink Adnams ale and mime to our soundtrack which I had recorded in our cottage in Cropredy. Simon and I had mislaid the door key to the Crown hotel and in order to get in, I climbed a drainpipe in the early hours.Pre hip op obviously!. This is a lovely little film which you might remember seeing when we had Broughton castle as the venue for our festival. Enjoy!"
Watch the In One End video in full, for free.
Recently I had a conversation with a guy from Brum who said he had purchased a Gibson Les Paul guitar that Roger Hill had played when he was in Fairport. Sadly, I told him that I couldn’t remember Roger playing a Les Paul but I was wrong! Here's the proof.
So, apologies from me re that. My mate Paul Mitchell said he had a pic, and here it is!
(Also I am playing a Fender Jazz bass which I loved, but sadly got nicked. If anyone can shed any light on its whereabouts, there would be a reward for sure.)
Photo of Swarb, Pegg, Roger Hill and Tom Parnell courtesy of Paul Mitchell.
Peggy writes - "The Fairports will be doing the Cropredy Warm up shows at Banbury Trades and Labour Club on 5 & 6 August. We will have special guests joining us on both nights including Dave Mattacks and "Fairport Extension “. This will be a 10 piece line up enabling us to tackle some “big production” items from our past repertoire. Do please join us for these special pre-Cropredy Festival events."
You can buy tickets from the Fairport shop.
Photo by Richard Crump
There are plenty of jokes about age in the air as Fairport Convention’s latest venture gets under way. The band have been going, as anyone with a knowledge of British music should know, since the late sixties. There have been inevitable changes in personnel, but also lifetimes spent playing a fine back catalogue of classic and keeping the equally aging faithful happy.
Leamington’s All Saints provided the perfect setting for this opening show of the band’s 2019 spring tour. And there was a full congregation of Fairport worshippers there to enjoy a set which delved deep into the history of this musical institution as well as providing proof that the creative urges still bloom in the form of new material. It’s a nicely chosen set which seems to keep the band on their toes and interested while satisfying the audience’s appetite for classics. It’s not the pomp and celebration of Cropredy, but it is a terrific listen throughout.
Simon Nicol and Chris Leslie share the vocal duties, the former contributing fine guitar work and the latter just about any other instrument you could wish to hear. Mandolin, bazouki, fiddle, whistle, mouth organ all added with subtle skill. Ric Sanders’s fiddle is in as good fettle as it’s ever been, sounding markedly younger than some to its player’s jokes. At the back, the legendary Gerry Conway coaxes a vast panorama of percussion sounds from a partly electric kit, saving his bravura moment for a final assault of the cajon which would eave many a less-experienced player gasping.
But it’s Dave Pegg who, amongst all these other musical stars, still contrives to shine brightest. If there’s a better bass player on the circuit I’d be amazed. Of course there’ll be some teenage wizard in a metal band able to shred notes out five times faster, but for melodic and harmonic sense combined with an utterly lovely touch, Mr Pegg still stands above anyone you could name. Let’s hope he never tires or retires.
Creative and new as they’d like to be, Fairport are still a band defined by the towering shadow of their own history. And so it’s back into the classic early albums that we’re taken for some of the evening’s highlights. Crazy Man Michael, Sir Patrick Spens and (of course) a rollicking, full-paced Matty Groves all serving as steps up to a fabulous Meet on the Ledge ending. This excellent tour will only get better as it moves around. Don’t miss it if you like traditional music, joyous music-making and some simply brilliant musicianship.
- Matthew Salisbury, May 9th, 2019
Damian Davison has sent us a link to a wonderful film he has created based on the Fairports' version of The Sailor's Alphabet. He has done a great job on it and luckily chose the original Babbacombe Lee version of the song - and not the revised alternate lyric version. Thanks Damian.
I know he feels bad that the 50 odd years of low frequencies have shaken me follicles out and kindly offered to share some of his still huge mane with me for this pic. Do look out for Saving Grace as they plan to do more gigs.
We have a couple of months off now so Ellen and I are off to Brittany for a rest and lots of gardening. I hope to be getting the new CD - called Sit Down Stand Up - which Anthony John Clarke and I have recently recorded. Check Anthony's website and do get hold of one; he has some fab. new songs.
Looking forward to seeing you on the Fairports' May/June tour.
I have had a great response from those of you who have purchased “Off the Pegg” Thanks so much. Nigel and myself may have to do a second edition. I am very happy with it despite having spotted some spelling mistakes. Proof reading is not my forte. Sorry.
Well, from 16 – 23 June 2020, it meanders through 50 years of folk rock history, taking in the spectacular scenery along one of the most attractive rivers in Europe, on an exclusive cruise hosted by none other than Fairport Convention. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to enjoy ‘up close and personal’ the many and varied talents of Simon, Peggy, Gerry, Chris and Ric, and they are as excited as we are about the 5 evenings of on board entertainment being planned.
Please follow THIS LINK for 'Early Bird' tickets and more information.
There will be songs old and new from the Fairports of course, but so much more as well aboard the newest addition to the Amadeus Fleet ~ The MS Amadeus Imperial. Your luxurious floating home from home. With only 150 guests on board, this is a once in a lifetime opportunity for fans.
How about a Fairport ‘Beatles singalong’, or even getting up to do a karaoke with the Fairports as your backing band? Wouldn’t that be a video to impress friends and embarrass the grand children?
Peggy is threatening to tell a few tales which couldn’t be included in his recent book ‘Off the Pegg’, and Gerry might teach you how to play the cajon, whilst Ric and Chris are planning solo and duo sets. And…. who could have expected this …. a couple of band members would like to demonstrate their abilities in performing magic tricks and stand-up comedy!
Expect "Fairport Unconventional" – a rare, unique opportunity for a maximum of 150 fans to share a wonderful experience and generate some magical memories with five of the nicest icons of British music history. Dress Code throughout will be smart casual / No Formal Nights.
but Peggy's been auditioning a new band member...
OK, it's actually a sculpture by Achiel Pauwels, poured in bronze by Dirk De Graeve and unveiled in 1993. It celebrates Lionel Bauwens, a singer and accordion player who often accompanied himself with a large bass drum - hence his nickname, 'Tamboer'. Peggy found him in Eeklo, East Flanders on the recent Fairport tour.