Monday, 10 February 2020

At the end of the day

I have been to see Fairport Convention on their wintour, which has been so regular an occurrence over the last few years that it's almost not worth mentioning. Just for the record I didn't go last year. It was much as always, that is to say excellent, although they do look like they are getting old; perhaps I should pass on to them my secret recipe for never looking any older.

You would never believe that I'm in my sixties

They performed a number of songs from their latest CD 'Shuffle and Go', a number from the 'Full House' record, plus inevitably enough a couple from 'Liege and Lief', including of course 'Matty Groves'. I liked the new stuff, although obviously not sufficiently to buy a copy of the album. I was especially taken by a song about Michael Collins (the American astronaut rather than the Irish revolutionary) which songwriter Chris Leslie (the talented multi-instrumentalist rather than the failed centrist politician) introduced by pointing out that those of us of a similar age (*), he was a child of the Apollo era. Still, given the current political developments in Ireland and the upcoming centenary of his assassination, perhaps there would be a market for a companion piece about Mícheál Ó Coileáin as well. 

Coming back to 'Matty Groves', there has been sufficient time since what I shall refer to as 'the events' for me to once more listen to the song with equanimity. Which is just as well, because it was also played by the Sandy Denny Project when I saw them a week or so earlier. I didn't know what to expect from the gig as Ms Denny had a unique and beautiful voice and mere imitation didn't seem a fruitful route to take. I needn't have worried as the six piece band both shared vocals around and gave us their own interpretations of material written by and associated with the late singer rather than carbon copies. Probably the majority of vocals were taken by Sally Barker, who I had seen supporting Fairport in 2017, and she did a good job. However, at the end of the day there was only one Sandy Denny.

* including those of us who don't look it.


  1. "Oh, dance in the dark of night,
    Sing to the morning light..."

    1. Good call; it's been too long since Led Zep IV was on the playlist.

  2. Saw them a couple of tours ago, took the family, it was fun,can't see going to Cropredy again, trying to persuade my wife to spend time under canvas at a folk festival is a tough call these days, especially as our daughter no longer fancies it,oh well!
    Best Iain