2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
A must for all Fairport fans,
This review is from: Festival Bell (Audio CD)Fairport Convention must be the nation's best kept secret. Those of us who watch them live at Cropredy and the Winter and acoustic tours are thrilled by their superb musicianship, they are truly an outstanding live band. As other reviewers have said, this needs to be bourne in mind when listening to a CD. A lot of the tracks would not have so much appeal if they were not already familiar from recent concerts, it really helps in one's appreciation of them.
Quite a few Chris Leslie compositions, the only criticism I have of his songs is that some tend to be a little lightweight and facile, rather like some of Paul McCartney's writings became after he left the Beatles. They can lack the gravitas of the earlier Fairport years. I find that "Wouldn't say no" and "Festival Bell" fall into this category, unfortunately in the case of the latter, as it is a song of some significance for the current FC. But this is the only criticism I can find with this CD.
Simon's voice improves with age, just like a fine claret. Wonderful to have two very different lead vocalists in him and Chris. And how nice to hear Peggy singing lead all the way through a song, instead of just one verse! Celtic Moon really suits him, let's have a few more from him in the future. We all enjoy Ukulele Central at the concerts, but listening to it on the CD I realise what a very clever song it is, well done Chris. The two Danny Jack's I enjoy a lot more than some of Ric's more recent instrumentals, however Albert and Ted I'm not quite so keen on.
Mercy Bay is superb, it particularly shows what a fine bassist Peggy is, he alternates well between a steady supporting line and skilfull fill-ins. A better bass player I defy anyone to find. Rui's guitar has dreadful lyrics but gets away with it as it is such a beautiful melodic song, play it when you first get up in the morning and it will brighten your day for hours. Rising for the moon- ah how lovely, we miss you Sandy. Sung well by Chris. Reunion Hill, Darkside Wood, Cape Horn, all fabulous.
Gerry is never in the FC limelight so it seems, but what a wonderfully artistic drummer and percussionist, he knows exactly how to interpret every section of every song. Good on yer Gez.
If you are considering buying this, don't consider any longer, just get it. And if you are a "Fairport Virgin", take a look at their website and see if they are coming anywhere near you on the forthcoming winter tour. Then there's Cropredy festival- be there or be square!