Fairport’s Cropredy Convention

This summer I went with a friend to Fairport’s Cropredy Convention, a small festival in rural Oxfordshire set up by the band Fairport Convention.

This year it was 50 years since the band was formed (although over the years they’ve had so many people leave the band, join the band, re-join the band, that the full 50-year line-up includes around 30 musicians!).

It’s predominantly a folk-rock festival, and the majority of the performers are ex-band members who have gone solo or formed other bands, mixed in with a few performers they just really love. An eclectic mix but really pretty good!

Here are a few video highlights:

Firstly, a group called The Trevor Horn Band, mostly made up of music writers and producers who have been responsible for over 200 rock and pop hits. So this was fun as they mostly played well-known songs from their back catalogue, most of which were made famous by other bands (It’s so easy to forget that very few bands actually write all their own songs!).

Then there was the headline act from the first night – The Divine Comedy, and here they are playing one of my favourite songs of theirs, Frog Princess (spoiler alert – she turns into a cow…)

Then on the 2nd day, a wonderful band called Gigspanner, who have some fantastic fiddle playing (which my dad and his violin teacher would appreciate!).

This rather fabulous clip was of the drummer playing drums on the other guy’s fiddle, while he continues to play it! Amazing to watch!

Then another new discovery – the very fabulous Pierce Brothers, who were a pair of Australian twins and just so energetic and excitable – they bounced around the stage like crazy, and played some fantastic folk-rock.

Apparently at last year’s festival, (their first appearance at Cropredy) they were delivered backstage and asked where they should go to perform (most festivals in the UK have multiple stages, with the more well-known acts getting the large, main stages and the smaller, lesser-known acts getting a smaller tent somewhere in the back). The organisers then explained to them that at Cropredy, there is only 1 stage, and they were about to go on and play for around 20,000 people, where they had previously never played for a crowd bigger than about 2000 people before.

They were so amazed and blown away, and they played so brilliantly that they were immediately invited back this year – and here they are:

(Also here they are signing my cd! )

And finally, here is a lovely clip of Richard Thompson, one of the founding members of Cropredy, who had a very successful solo career as well. His guitar playing here is just beautiful.

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