Liverpool Sound and Vision Rating 9/10
The bus rolls on, it does so because Time has need for the company it keeps and in such bands as Fairport Convention, Time understands that the message, the song, is far too important to not allow it to be heard or to be shared live. Music is not only exists to ease the suffering, to use in times of rememberance or to make those who seek to dominate society uncomfortable, it is there to be gathered around and used to make people smile, to make them enjoy life and Time, whilst sometimes being a peculiar beast, revels in the joy that can be heard.
Fairport Convention, a name steeped in Time itself, a band to whom so much is owed by all that followed, might be one of the few to ever take on two consecutive nights inside The Music Room at The Philharmonic Hall and still sound as fresh and exciting as morning dew to a child running through a field in May; the small things add up, the reflection upon the night when you close your eyes and drift off is greatly enhanced by the sound that can still be heard inside your head, preserved like amber, never forgotten.
The five piece, stripped back, fully immersed in their tales and songs of a 50 year career, all smiles and memories, all radical, all being drank in and consumed by the hugely appreciative and at times incredibly reverential audience, gave all present a night in which the majesty of the song was celebrated, made somehow even more illustrious than in the hands of many other groups who might have the same effect on the conscious of the crowd.
The bus rolls on, and so does the tour, a lengthy one and all before they take to high seas of Cropredy once again and yet as memories of the much loved Sandy Denny and the songs of Richard Thompson and Ralph McTell filtered through between the chairs, as the thrill of songs such as Devil’s Work, Slip Jigs and Reels, the excellent Danny Jack’s Reward, Summer by the Cherwell, Sir Patrick Spens, Fotheringay, Portmerion, Farewell, Farewell, the smashing Eleanor’s Dream and Matty Groves all grew in the hearts of the audience, of the fans and the first time explorers, the bus’s engine was found to be purring as if it just come of the assembly line at Rolls Royce, the cargo held in a spacious boot and the interior, the introspection, found to be just as polished and beautifully admired as the outer shell.
The Folk Rock classics, the intrepid traditional and the true Folk song, all were greeted with memory and with notable applause, for Fairport Convention this was a return to Liverpool with more than a sense of occasion attached to the band’s 50th anniversary, this was Heaven in a Folk box and subtle love of the strings; a memorable night of music in many ways.
Ian D. Hall