Fairport Convention – February 2010

8/10

Venue: Pavilion Theatre

Date: Tuesday 2nd February 2010

The support for this tour was a duo calling themselves Dark Horses – Flossie and Keith. She’s from France, via Darlington, and there were lots of laughs as she told us her story, especially how she, with a degree in English, had to adapt to the way English is actually spoke, like. Keith was also very funny, and a proper Geordie, though his accent wasn’t a  strong as Flossie’s.

They started with a couple of songs together – not bad but not really to my taste. Keith played guitar excellently, as did Flossie for her solo, and she has  a gorgeous voice. Bit nasal, but very rich and strong. After the first two songs, she did a Jacques Brel number called The Port Of Amsterdam, in French. No idea about the words, but the tune and her singing were fine. Keith did his solo next – a song entitled Kama Sutra, which included moves for the audience, leaning to the left for ‘left’, leaning to the right for ‘right’, slumping down for ‘down’, sitting up for ‘stand’ and clapping for ‘blue’. He even introduced a new move part way through when he saw one chap in the audience put his hands together as if in prayer on the word ‘alone’. As the song was full of these words, we were pretty active for a few minutes, both with the movements and laughing, which got us fully warmed up in both senses of the word.

Keith and Flossie sang a couple of songs more, enjoyable enough, then introduced Fairport and sang the first song of their set with them – Si Tu Dois Parti. This was the first time they’ve done it in the original language, thanks to Flossie’s presence. Fairport then gave us a selection of songs and tunes, old and new, including The Happy Man, Wouldn’t Say No, Jewel In The Crown, Hen’s March and other tunes, a Sandy Denny song called Rising to The Moon, Sir Parsifal, Ukulele Central, Walk Awhile, Dirty Linen (instrumental), Rocky Road (an adaptation of Prickly Bush), two Babbacombe Lee songs – Dream and Execution, Danny Jack’s Chase (instrumental), Who Knows Where The Time Goes, John Gaudie and The Bowman’s Retreat, etc. I enjoyed most of the set, though I still find it hard to hear what they’re singing. They finished the first half with The Festival Bell, and the second with an old favourite, slightly refurbished, Matty Groves.

The encore was another long-standing favourite of theirs, Meet On The Ledge. We were all encouraged to join them at this year’s Cropredy festival to sing along with this one at midnight on Saturday. From the response, it’ll be standing room only.

© 2010 Sheila Evans at ilovetheatre.me

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