With two sell-out tours in 2018, iconic folk rockers Fairport Convention are now preparing to kick off their 2019 winter tour that starts later this month.
The legendary and award-winning group will start their 52nd year of touring at The Roses in Tewkesbury on 30th January before heading out on the road for over twenty more live dates across the country.
After more than fifty years on the road Fairport Convention’s passion for live performance has never wavered. This concert will showcase the band’s musical sophistication and instrumental virtuosity during a fascinating journey through their inspiring and extensive repertoire.
Renowned as the founding fathers of British folk-rock music, Fairport Convention has maintained consistently high standards for over five decades and remains as entertaining as ever. Still bold, still vigorous and still willing to take musical chances, an evening with Fairport never fails to dazzle and delight audiences.
The group has attracted critical acclaim throughout its long career. The band has won a coveted BBC Lifetime Achievement Award, Radio 2 listeners have voted Fairport’s groundbreaking album Liege & Lief ‘The Most Influential Folk Album of All Time’, and their story and music frequently features on radio and television.
“I know that at some point in the individual lives and experiences of our fans, something Fairport has done has reached into them and made an impact and a connection,” says founding member Simon Nicol.
Simon expands further measuring the distance travelled from a schoolboy with a guitar to being the keeper of a legendary band celebrating more than fifty years on the road; “It’s not a legend to us – it’s just what we do and what we have managed to do.” Simon Nicol, the guitarist and founding member of folk royalty Fairport Convention, is talking about carrying the cross of his calling. “I’m quietly pleased that we have history and a degree of name recognition,” he says. “But I hope never to trade on it for its own sake.”
There’s no danger of that. Nearly fifty years on from their seminal fourth album, ‘Liege & Lief’, Fairport Convention are on the road again and coming to a town near you. The folk-rockers have toured extensively throughout their celebrated career and show no signs of slowing down: “I don’t expect anything special over and above what we deserve as a working band in the swim with our contemporaries,” reveals Nicol. “We ask fans to judge us for who we are, not who we once were.”
Who Fairport Convention are in 2019 are a band who will make your night out go with a song. “Audiences, not postcodes, make the music memorable,” says the guitarist. “The adventure of being on-stage playing music became a way of life, rather than a passing phase. The songs may have developed, but the gig’s the same.” With famous songs such as ‘Matty Groves’, ‘Come All Ye’ and ‘Fotheringay’ still in the set, an evening with Fairport Convention is still a folk music lover’s dream. “Sometimes we even play the nineteen verses of ‘Matty Groves’ in the right order,” laughs Nicol. “There’s a song that never fails to feel completely fresh and exciting.”
The songs may still carry the same thrill, but touring them is a game that has changed a lot over the years and Fairport have had to stay ahead of the curve to keep up with the rest of the ephemera that accompanies making money in the music business in 2019. “The sat-navs have replaced folding paper maps and endless questioning of pedestrians or fuel station queues,” he says. “While the mobile phones mean no hunting for the one smelly phone box that has a working phone in it! These days I always to forget to pack my electric toothbrush – so I have to use the acoustic one.”
It’s that lightness of touch that has kept Fairport in the hearts and minds of music fans through line-up changes, new records and reissues. There may be the light of an oncoming train in the distance, but this is a group whose music lives in the now: “You must remember that I started out being a schoolboy with a guitar, pursuing an ordinary hobby of being in a band with a few of my mates,” says Nicol. “The difference is that I forgot to get a tertiary education, a pension, a career or even something definable as a job!”
Long may they run.
2019 Winter Tour
Wed, 30 Jan 2019 – Tewkesbury – The Roses Theatre – TICKETS
Thu, 31 Jan 2019 – Crewe – Lyceum Theatre – TICKETS
Fri, 1 Feb 2019 – Southport – The Atkinson – TICKETS
Sat, 2 Feb 2019 – Manchester – RNCM Concert Hall – TICKETS
Sun, 3 Feb 2019 – Lincoln – Drill Hall – TICKETS
Tue, 5 Feb 2019 – Peterborough – Key Theatre – TICKETS
Wed, 6 Feb 2019 – Doncaster – Cast – TICKETS
Thu, 7 Feb 2019 – Stockton-On-Tees – ARC – TICKETS
Fri, 8 Feb 2019 – Gateshead – Sage Gateshead – TICKETS
Sat, 9 Feb 2019 – Leeds – City Varieties Music Hall – TICKETS
Sun, 10 Feb 2019 – Loughborough – Town Hall – TICKETS
Tue, 12 Feb 2019 – Bury St Edmunds – The Apex – TICKETS
Wed, 13 Feb 2019 – Milton Keynes – The Stables – TICKETS
Thu, 14 Feb 2019 – Basingstoke – The Anvil – TICKETS
Fri, 15 Feb 2019 – Exeter – Corn Exchange – TICKETS
Sat, 16 Feb 2019 – Bath – The Forum – TICKETS
Sun, 17 Feb 2019 – Bromsgrove – Artrix – TICKETS
Tue, 19 Feb 2019 – Canterbury – The Gulbenkian – TICKETS
Wed, 20 Feb 2019 – Canterbury – The Gulbenkian – TICKETS
Thu, 21 Feb 2019 – Worthing -Connaught Theatre – TICKETS
Fri, 22 Feb 2019 – St Albans – St Albans Arena – TICKETS
Sat, 23 Feb 2019 – London – Union Chapel – TICKETS
Sun, 24 Feb 2019 – Banbury – Trades & Labour Club – TICKETS
This tour will also feature support by special guests The 4 of Us. Hailed as one of the most acclaimed duos in Ireland, brothers Brendan and Declan Murphy are accomplished singers, instrumentalists and songwriters.