I'm sure almost every fan of British folk and folk-rock music has heard of the group Fairport Convention. They were formed in 1967, and despite various vicissitudes and breaks, are still performing today - as you'll see from the age of their musicians in the video clips below. They're one of the top names in those genres, right up there with Steeleye Span and others.
In 1976 the group began what has grown into the annual Fairport's Cropredy Convention, a festival of music featuring various invited artists - and, of course, Fairport Convention themselves. Even in the years when the band was moribund, its members would gather to perform at the Convention. From a one-day gathering in the beginning, it's expanded to a full three-day program. Today, it's a highlight of the English folk and folk-rock music scene, with thousands of supporters gathering at the village of Cropredy each year to participate.
I've chosen three live performances by Fairport Convention, both at the Convention and elsewhere, to illustrate their music. The first is a song by Ralph McTell, describing the Battle of Cropredy Bridge during the English Civil War. It's one of my favorites.
The next track is just plain fun. Fairport Convention get together with the Joe Broughton Conservatoire Folk Ensemble to perform "The Gallivant".
And finally, here's a love song: "The Hiring Fair".
You'll find many more Fairport Convention songs and (by various artists) Fairport's Cropredy Convention performances on YouTube. Follow those links and have fun!
I first went to Fairport's "Reunion" Festival in 1987 because the special guest was Ian Anderson out of Jethro Tull. Six of us with only a two-man tent. I am so glad it didn't rain!
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