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FAIRPORT CONVENTION - More Things We Did On Our Holidays

FAIRPORT CONVENTION - More Things We Did On Our Holidays
Secret Records  SECDD032

The Convention that never ends – No, it’s not some corporate nightmare; it’s our old chums Fairport again.  Fairport Convention have found yet another barrel worth the scraping, this one being remixed, reordered, digitized, and edited highlights from Cropredy ’86 and ’87. All of this core material was previously available on the taped “official bootlegs”, The Other Boot and The Third Leg respectively, both of which were sequels to The Boot (Cropredy ’83). Incidentally, these were already also available some seven years ago for the same price, but with a bonus DVD, in a boxed set called The Quiet Joys Of Brotherhood. Are you keeping up – stay awake in the back there… In fact there were more tracks on the taped sets, but some obviously had to be culled to fit on these two CDs (also missing from TQJOB set). Thankfully, Harold Wells’ embarrassment at being asked to narrate his famous intro to Bird From The Mountain in a live context has benefitted from some dextrous editing from Peggy, who it must be said has done a sterling job in remixing the best of the fruits of these two classic Cropredys. It couldn’t have come at a better time, as my tapes were getting worn out…

I’ve been to earlier and later Cropredys, but these are two I missed personally – but I wish I’d seen Iain Matthews on one of his rare appearances this side of the pond. His Keep On Sailing (C86) is triumphant here, complete with Richard Thompson on fine fettle. RT and Jerry Donahue are regular returnees, but shine as always. The a cappella Woodstock (C86) with IM, RT, Gregson and Collister is masterful. Swarb makes a cameo appearance on Rosie (C87), with his usual flair. Other guests include Ralph McTell, June Tabor and Ian Anderson.

All of this rattles along nicely and it’s frightening to realise that this was so long ago – Maart was a newish member, but vital to both sets, and DM was still a permanent fixture on the drum stool. I was tempted to say that this is another one for Fairport completists, but really, such types will already have earlier incarnations of this same material (although mixed and ordered differently). It would seem incongruent to suggest this material from a quarter of a century ago as an introduction to FC – but it’s certainly a cracker of a double album. Just wish I’d bought The Quiet Joys Of Brotherhood at the time…

Grem Devlin

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This album was reviewed in Issue 90 of The Living Tradition magazine.