skeith

Need recs on Pentangle/Fairport Convention

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Due up on BBC 4 TV on 27th Sept:

The Enigma Of Nic Jones: Return Of Britain’s Lost Folk Hero

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http://www.bbc.co.uk/mediacentre/latestnews/2013/nic-jones-bbc-four.html

Worth watching even if you haven't a clue about him. A giant both in terms of guitar playing and arranging songs.

Had his LP "Penguin Eggs" for quite a few years - brilliant stuff

The photo on the left is the actual cover to the LP

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Very nice radio programme on Night Visiting songs I caught by chance last night. If you can get access to the BBC iPlayer:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b03bqws9

Told by Tim van Eyken, a highly respected young(-er) folky (and one time Waterson-Carthy member). Includes Martin Carthy and various others talking round the theme and lots of song extracts. The one that really grabbed my attention was a wonderful multi-voice piece from this collection, just released:

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A sort of Englist trad folky supergroup - Fay Hield, Seth Lakeman, Martin Simpson, Nancy Kerr, Sam Sweeney, Rob Harbron, Ben Nicholls. Will be seeing them in Sheffield in a few weeks.

Edited by A Lark Ascending

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Due in late June:

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Also imminent:

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And two just released pearls:

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Edited by A Lark Ascending

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Thanks for posting, Bev. I'd missed that on my trawl through the Grauniad

I sincerely hope that "like some yeasty Jacobean Hawkwind" is not the case on any number of levels :smirk:

Article seems a little over-enthusiastic but has done its job by making want to hear both Spiro and Leveret

Off to see Jackie Oates next week (if I can locate the seemingly misplaced tickets)

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Spiro have a strong minimalist feel - Leveret are closer to the tradition. I prefer the latter but enjoy both.

Just listening to the latest Oates today. A really lovely singer. Hope you get to the concert.

Edited by A Lark Ascending

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Another contemporary band who operate in a similar area to Spiro - driven, full of ostinato, memories of Steve Reich etc in amongst the folkiness.

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The article gives the impression that this is a very recent renaissance - but all these albums are superb representations of mainly instrumental explorations of English (as opposed to Irish or Scottish) 'folk' music:

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51YYMNjV0LL._SS280.jpgThe-Fair-Essex-350x350.jpg300x300.jpg61zPPXFbweL._SS280.jpg

The Chris Wood/Andy Cutting duo are touring together again periodically and real should be seen - they do this amazing thing of taking the tunes down to an unhurried pace and then enter some sort of zen territory. It has to be heard to be believed. Mawkin (the band on 'The Fair Essex') go a bit broader in their later music including contemporary song and Django-ish guitar! They seem to be a bit more active tour wise this year with a new album coming - one of the hidden gem bands that seem to be known by reputation but have yet to break through to general acclamation in the folk world. Anything with Andy Cutting on will be blessed.

And if you really want to go to the origins of the revival of this sort of music you need to go to the dance bands that started in the 70s as a reaction to the dominance of Irish/Scottish music in the sessions of the time - Oak, Flowers and Frolics, Old Swan Band etc. A bit strict tempo for me, but fun. Not to mention the work of John Kirkpatrick. Given the thread title, it's interesting to note that Ashley Hutchings did a very sudden left turn in the mid-70s having become aware that he'd been playing Irish and Scottish music in Fairport and Steeleye and thought he ought to explore the music of his own country - that led into various bands that eventually became The Albion Band.

Now to go even further to the roots:

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And many other archive recordings. Hardcore folkies do a Schnabel with this sort of thing.

Edited by A Lark Ascending

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This won't mean a thing if you have no experience of going to a folk club or festival. But if you have:

Andrew Lloyd Webber pulverised!

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I have it.

If you loved Fotheringay then it is worthwhile. Has the original album, the Fotheringay 2 album put out a few years back and a host of radio and live tracks. Interesting to hear them play some of the key tracks live - they were good. I'd always thought of 'Banks of the Nile' as a studio only track for some reason.

Soundwise it's fine on the studio tracks - I don't notice any difference from the CD of the main album I had in the late-80s. Obviously the radio/live tracks are variable but like with the other sets built around Thompson, Fairport etc, you adjust. I've heard much worse. (Disclaimer: I'm not an audiophile so keener ears might pick up differences).

The original album (with, perhaps, the 2 album) will be enough for most. But if this band (or the musicians involved) were important to you, it's well worth the purchase.

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I have it.

If you loved Fotheringay then it is worthwhile. Has the original album, the Fotheringay 2 album put out a few years back and a host of radio and live tracks. Interesting to hear them play some of the key tracks live - they were good. I'd always thought of 'Banks of the Nile' as a studio only track for some reason.

Soundwise it's fine on the studio tracks - I don't notice any difference from the CD of the main album I had in the late-80s. Obviously the radio/live tracks are variable but like with the other sets built around Thompson, Fairport etc, you adjust. I've heard much worse. (Disclaimer: I'm not an audiophile so keener ears might pick up differences).

The original album (with, perhaps, the 2 album) will be enough for most. But if this band (or the musicians involved) were important to you, it's well worth the purchase.

Yep - loved both Fotheringay albums and I don't have either on on CD, so this will be a must-have for me. Really looking forward to the live stuff, too. Thanks for overview, Bev.

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You are welcome.

I vaguely recall hearing the last BBC concert they did on the radio (early 1971?). It was on in the kitchen - I didn't know who Fotheringay (or Fairport for that matter) were at the time but recall the presenter being all sad about the break up. My intro was via the Island 'Bumpers' compilation - I was transfixed by 'The Sea', still one of my favourite songs. Wonderful chord changes and a near perfect guitar solo.

Jerry Donahue, Gerry Conway and Pat Donaldson are taking 'Fotheringay' on the road next month with various others. Nostalgia, no doubt, and missing two vital elements (and 40 years!) but would be interesting to hear. Sadly the closest concert to me is sold out.

http://www.folkradio.co.uk/2015/03/fotheringay-to-tour-uk-with-new-lineup/

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Would definitely be interesting to see the reconstituted Fotheringay. I hope they bring it stateside.

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Thanks for posting that Bev. A good read. Another 'name' whose music remains sadly undiscovered in this household. Something to be rectified

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Get yourself a copy of:

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It doesn't seem to be in print at present which is daft. A collaboration with David Munrow's Early Music Consort. One side-long suite of songs, loosely based around the impact of WWI on the country world, with early music backing; then some individual songs. Bizarrely came out on Harvest alongside Deep Purple and Pink Floyd!

Or:

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Which is classic early 70s folk rock - the template for what became the Albion Band. Never notice Lol Coxhill on the list before.

Her really famous one is from much earlier:

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Also excellent.

Her voice takes a bit of a-climatising to - it's quite pure but richly accented. But once you get it, you become addicted.

Her book about song collecting in the states with Alan Lomax mentioned in the article is tremendous too.

Edited by A Lark Ascending

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Oddball tribute discs number 5673...

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Son of English squeezebox supremo and folk-rock pioneer John Kirkpatrick takes on Hendrix:

Leaving behind the guitar altogether (Hendrix did that rather well...), Benji tackles this material on bouzouki, banjo and mandolin

Benji Kirkpatrick has a career in various folk bands like Bellowhead (though they are about to disband) and Faustus. I saw him a few years back solo and it was a bit lacklustre - might have been the deadly early afternoon slot when everyone is ready for a nap. But a couple of weeks back with Faustus he was superb.

So I'm intrigued by this. 

(Sorry to anyone who feels I've hi-jacked this thread from its Fairport/Pentangle origins but I'm a bit of an advocate for places the inspiration of those bands (and many other influences) have taken us to today. I love classic era Fairport in particular but feel there's a lot of music that has come after that could well interest admirers of those bands). 

And talking of John, his WWI/II album is due up soon too:

 Tunes From The Trenches

I saw him do a fabulous one man show with this a couple of weeks back. Unfortunately the recording is unlikely to reflect his wonderful onstage wit or the way he recovers from mistakes.  

Edited by A Lark Ascending

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I just noticed that most of the Pentangle albums are available on eMusic.

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Anyone have thoughts on the later Pentangle albums? I've been listening to Open the Door, In the Round and So Early in the Spring a lot lately. Although somewhat different from the original lineup and albums, I think they're well done.

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A Fairport/Thompson connection you might have missed:

Fair Warning

Came out a couple of years back. The Rails are James Walbourne and Kami Thompson, the latter being Richard and Linda's daughter.

Very good debut album with strong echoes of the R&L albums of the 70s. Kami sounds very much like mum, especially on the harmony vocals. Not quite the ache but there's time. Where what I've heard of her brother has passed my by, I think Kami has something. 

Very much a finding your feet and showing your influences record - there's a couple here that could have come off Henry the Human Fly. The songs written very deliberately in a folk style are probably just a little too formulaic.

But an entertaining record all round showing promise for the future. 

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A Fairport/Thompson connection you might have missed:

Fair Warning

Came out a couple of years back. The Rails are James Walbourne and Kami Thompson, the latter being Richard and Linda's daughter.

Very good debut album with strong echoes of the R&L albums of the 70s. Kami sounds very much like mum, especially on the harmony vocals. Not quite the ache but there's time. Where what I've heard of her brother has passed my by, I think Kami has something. 

Very much a finding your feet and showing your influences record - there's a couple here that could have come off Henry the Human Fly. The songs written very deliberately in a folk style are probably just a little too formulaic.

But an entertaining record all round showing promise for the future. 

Thanks Bev, I'll check it out.

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I was listening to this today (mp3 of my 80s vinyl version...rather crackly) and thought it deserved a mention here:

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One of the great semi-lost albums of the 70s. The Watersons had stopped performing when it came out in 1972 (they regathered later). Whereas Watersons records were mainly traditional songs, these are all written by Mike or Lal. I think I've heard it referred to as the folk revival's Sergeant Pepper and it has something of the fairground atmosphere of that record with a cast of equally odd people though living darker, even more disappointed lives. Deeply in touch with the countryside and the seasons (they were from a farming background after all), some of those songs like 'The Scarecrow' are straight out of The Wicker Man.

Fits here because of the prominent role played by Richard Thompson and other Fairports (plus Martin Carthy who was yet to be inducted into the Watersons). Thompson's guitar is wonderful throughout - he'd yet to move to the more rockist style of later years; if anything you hear the influence of country guitar all over the record.

To my ears one of the great records of the 70s (though it will sound a bit strange at first if you know the Fairport/Pentangle world but aren't too familiar with more hardcore English folk). Unfortunately, has yet to see a proper CD reissue as the chap who owned the rights refused to reissue it. He died a while back but whoever has inherited the rights seems in no hurry to allow reissue (along with a host of major folk revival records in their grasp from the likes of Nic Jones and Robin and Barry Dransfield).

Article about it from a few years back when a bunch of worthies toured it:   

http://www.theguardian.com/music/2013/oct/10/bright-phoebus-waterson-toured-hawley-cocker-album

 

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