Friday, July 12, 2013


Sir Patrick Spens
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Well thanks, Boss, have you any idea how difficult this is? Stage banter? Jeez, so I have been to a show or two over my 40 years of irregular gigging, and I mean irregular, but, WTF, how do I do this? I am no fan of live LPs, they seldom matching the studio version or the 4D live experience, where senses other than auditory drench the feed, and the youtube doesn't exctly concentrate on the intro's over the songs. So I e-mailed and said I'd take a raincheck on this one. This post reveals the reception that I got......

So, who does good banter? To be fair, this ought to be right up my street, as the folk canon is filled with witty raconteurs, remembering that both Billy Connolly and Steve Martin began as musicians, or, more accurately, as banjo players, their intros gradually taking over from the plucking and strumming. And Jackie Leven, whom I featured some weeks back, he was also a consummate story teller, a marvellous tale about the death of Sting coming to mind. Could I find it? Could I hell... could I find any early musical Connolly or Martin, blending banjo and blether? Nope, not that either. Then I remembered.....

Fairport Convention, the doyens of  British folk-rock, still going since time immemorial, or 1967 at least, with a revolving door of members dipping in and out, where able, as the grim reaper has also taken his toll. Anyhow, with one sole original member in Simon Nicol, if one discounts his time off for good behaviour in the late 70s/early 80s, and others racking up 20 - 30 years of service, in keeping with the folk tradition, they have always given as much importance to the progeny of any song, explaining either it's history or making up some equivalently preposterous nonsense thereabouts. It really doesn't matter, and with Mr Nicol they have an exemplary front man, with the modulated and melodious tones of  the family doctors son that he is. And does my example demonstrate this?

Um, no, as it comes from the year dot, but, hey, listen to it and delight. It is really rather good. You will have to take my word as to their banter. Or better, mosey down to Cropredy, their yearly festival in rural Oxfordshire, early August, and see what I mean. (What do you mean, it's in England. Of course it's in England, but the wife of one of the ex-members of the band can sort you out most years, with her L.A. based travel company: Mrs Richard Thompson (Yes, that one.)

Not a lot more to say, but, given my clip is so very old, can they still cut it? Be my judge. From December last year.

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