Album Review: Festival Bell by Fairport Convention
Great, Based on 3 Critics
The Guardian - 80 Based on rating 4/5
Up in the tower of St Mary's church in the Oxfordshire village of Cropredy, there's a bell inscribed with the name of the pioneering folk-rock band who run one of the best music festivals in farmland nearby. Funded by fans, the story of the bell provides the title track for the first studio album in four years from a band who have survived a mind-boggling series of personnel changes to become a national institution. Forty-four years on, Fairport Convention are still in great form, even without their former superstars, Richard Thompson, Dave Swarbrick and the late Sandy Denny.
It's been 44 years since Fairport got together to emulate the American folk-rock bands they admired. Along the way, they started delving into the folklore of their native land and kicked off a revival of interest in the traditional music of the British Isles. In 2011, the band is still going strong, with original member Simon Nicol still on board, along with Dave Pegg, almost an original member with 31 years in the band under his belt.
Confirms Fairport’s reputation as an ongoing repository for quality songwriting. Sid Smith 2011 As quintessentially English as the gentle knock of a cricket ball on willow, it’s 43 years since Fairport Convention released their debut album. Their place in the cultural and physical landscape seems set to continue long into the future after their name was recently inscribed onto a new bell installed at St Mary’s Church, Cropredy, near the site of Fairport’s celebrated annual three-day festival.