Fairport Convention Biography (Wikipedia)
Fairport Convention are a British folk rock band, formed in 1967 by Richard Thompson (guitar, vocals,) Simon Nicol (guitar, vocals,) Ashley Hutchings (bass guitar,) and Shaun Frater (drums, percussion,) with Frater replaced by Martin Lamble after their first gig. They started out heavily influenced by American folk rock and singer-songwriter material, with a setlist dominated by covers of Bob Dylan and Joni Mitchell songs and a sound that earned them the nickname “the British Jefferson Airplane.” Vocalists Judy Dyble and Iain Matthews joined them before the recording of their self-titled debut in 1968; afterwards, Dyble was replaced by Sandy Denny, with Matthews leaving during the recording of their third album.
Denny began steering the group towards traditional British music for their next two albums, What We Did on Our Holidays and Unhalfbricking (both 1969;) the latter featured fiddler Dave "Swarb" Swarbrick, most notably on the song A Sailor's Life, which laid the groundwork for British folk rock by being the first time a traditional British song was combined with a rock beat. However, shortly before the album’s release, a crash on the M1 killed Lamble and Thompson’s then-girlfriend, Jeannie Franklyn; this resulted in the group retiring most of their prior material and turning entirely towards British folk music for their seminal album Liege & Lief, released the same year, with this style being the band’s focus ever since. For this album Swarb joined full time alongside Dave Mattacks on drums. Both Denny and Hutchings left before the year’s end; the latter replaced by Dave Pegg, who has remained the group’s sole consistent member to this day; and Thompson would leave after the recording of 1970’s Full House.
Fairport Convention Tracks