Now Be Thankful

Swarb’s brilliant vocal

The Story Behind The Album: Unhalfbricking, by Fairport Convention

1969 was a roller coaster year for Fairport Convention, full of triumphs and tragedies. One of its highlights was their brilliant third album. This is its story.

1969 was a roller-coaster year for Fairport Convention. In January of that year they released their second album What We Did On Our Holidays, the first one to feature singer Sandy Denny. In May they hit rock bottom with a tragedy that killed two people including one of its members. Miraculously they recovered and released the album that defines the British folk rock revival of that period, the iconic Liege and Lief. By December Sandy Denny and bass player Ashley Hutchings left the band to form Fotheringay and Steeleye Span and the classic Fairport Convention lineup was no more. And that was not all, for these events book-ended one more album that the band managed to record and release during that prolific period, one of my favorite records from that era, Unhalfbricking. Continue reading

In Fair England: Fairport Convention’s Liege & Lief At 50

Yes they probably invented folk rock but also, on their landmark third album, Fairport Convention, presented a view of England that has now been lost… one of violent division along lines of class and gender but one that was also positive and questing, says Michael Hann

One autumn evening a couple of years ago, my friends and I were drinking outside a pub in behind Euston station. As the last of the sun bathed the tables, a group of men and women assembled in the street. They were wearing white shirts and trousers, red neckerchiefs around their throats, bells tied to their ankles. They carried sticks. As they took their places in formation, my friends started sniggering to each other: Here they are, the racists, UKIP’s morris-dancing wing. Continue reading