Whilst the London Olympics may be stealing the limelight this year, 2012 also marks a number of key music anniversaries, which we’ll be bringing you more news of on the blog over the coming months. To start with, British folk rock supergroup Fairport Convention are celebrating 45 years as a band and are the subject of a major music documentary to be screened on BBC4 TV during 2012.
“Forty-five years is quite a milestone,” says co-founder Simon Nicol, “but we don’t intend to rest on our laurels. Fairport is a band that always looks to the future. I think the key to our longevity is live performance. We’ve never been a studio band – we much prefer being out there in front of an audience. Our festival at Cropredy also plays a role in sustaining us as a band – it is a highlight of so many peoples’ year because it has a great feeling of continuity.”
Fairport start their celebrations with a 40-date tour across England and Wales starting at The Playhouse Theatre, Oxford on 21st January and finishing up at The Union Chapel, London on 10th March. The concerts will feature songs from Fairport’s latest studio album Festival Bell as well as some of their most popular material from across the band’s repertoire as chosen by their fans. Acclaimed Irish singer-songwriter Kieran Goss will be opening for Fairport during the tour.
From 9th-11th August, Fairport’s Cropredy Convention will see co-founder Richard Thompson as one of the headline acts plus there’ll be special guests and Fairport alumni in attendance. 2012 will also see a couple of anniversary releases too. Firstly, By Popular Request, a studio album featuring brand new versions of Fairport’s most popular songs from the past 45 years (as voted for online by Fairport fans). The second is a new live version of their popular 1971 ‘folk rock opera’ Babbacombe Lee, drawn from their performances of the work during last year’s Cropredy and their 2011 Winter Tour.
Here’s to the chiming of the Cropredy Festival Bell in 2012!
For more information on all the above, check the Fairport website.