Fairport Convention: pioneering folkrock band’s
fiftieth anniversary on 27 May 2017
When Fairport Convention, the legendary band which originated British folk-rock, takes the stage on Saturday 27 May 2017 it will be fifty years to the day since their first-ever gig.
The birthday concert takes place at the Union Chapel in Islington just a few miles from the Golders Green venue where Fairport started out.
Formed by Ashley Hutchings in 1967, Fairport was a crucial part of the ‘summer of love’ and played alongside Pink Floyd and Hendrix among others. One of the only touring bands with an unbroken history stretching back five decades, Fairport has been performing and recording more or less constantly since its inception.
Acknowledged as one of the most influential UK bands in popular music, Fairport nurtured the careers of Richard Thompson, Sandy Denny and Dave Swarbrick among others.
The band saw many changes of personnel during its early years but Fairport Convention’s current line-up has been stable since 1998. Simon Nicol, lead singer and guitarist, is the only founding member still with Fairport; bass player Dave Pegg has been in the band since 1970.
So far this year Fairport has staged a major UK tour, released a new studio album, enjoyed extensive magazine coverage, and been the subject of an hour-long Radio 2 documentary produced and presented by Bob Harris.
In August the anniversary will culminate at the band’s own music festival at Cropredy, Oxfordshire, where past members will join the current line-up for a reunion performance. In the autumn there are plans for a Sky Arts television documentary about the band and its history.