Fairport Convention – February 2011

9/10

Chichester Festival Theatre

Date: Tuesday 8th February 2011

This was an absolute stonker of a performance. Fairport were supported by Katriona Gilmore and Jamie Roberts this time round, flushed with success from winning an award for best new song. They sang it for us as well, and fortunately, it was a good one – nothing like a big intro for inducing disappointment. CD already in the bag.

Fairport came on as their backing band for their last number, and then held the stage for their one opening number – a ‘brief’ version of the whole of Babbacombe Lee album. A mere forty-five minutes, and very enjoyable, if a tad long. I recognised the later songs, as Fairport have been doing mini-selections from the album for the last couple of years, and the familiarity helped with my enjoyment.

After the interval there was another good selection of songs, again dipping into the back catalogue for a number of them. Both Chris Leslie and Simon Nicol were in fine voice tonight, a considerable improvement over last year when Simon in particular sounded a bit rough. We may have caught them late in the tour last year, which can make a difference, or perhaps it was the much colder weather. Anyway, we enjoyed this even more this time, and didn’t stint ourselves when it came to the CD stall. Excellent.

© 2011 Sheila Evans at ilovetheatre.me

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