Matty Grooves Records MGCD044

It’s good to see that Fairport Convention have not succumbed to the temptation to bring out another ‘Greatest Hits’ compilation to celebrate forty years of doing what they do.  In truth they have no need to do so.  Although they have ‘revisited’ two songs from their extensive back catalogue (Including a terrific re-work of Tam Lin which die-hard fans will either love or hate…respect to them for that!) this collection follows a well-trodden path.  There are several new songs and tunes from band members and old friends like Steve Ashley and PJ Wright.  They’ve had a real good go at Untouchable by Glen Tilbrook and a wonderful cover of Love on a Farm boy’s Wages by XTC stalwart Andy Partridge. After all this time they still sound like they are having fun.  If pressed for a favourite track I would have to pick Chris Leslie’s Keep On Turning The Wheel with its wonderful Sgt. Pepper-esque arrangement.

No doubt this will be a ‘must have’ for fans and complete-ists (and are plenty of those).  For my part, this band have provided some of the soundtrack to my 30-plus years in folk music, and they are welcome to carry on doing so as far as I am concerned.  Browse your way to the excellent website at for all things Fairport.  To quote Simon Nicol from the sleeve notes: ‘Well, that’s the first forty years out of the way then.  Onwards!’

Phil Thomas

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This album was reviewed in Issue 73 of The Living Tradition magazine.