Artists: Fairport Convention And Matthews Southern Comfort

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Fairport Convention And Matthews Southern Comfort Biography

Fairport Convention is the world’s leading exponent of British Folk Rock, having virtually invented the genre in the late sixties. The band was formed in the mid-sixties by Ashley Hutchings but first came to prominence in 1967 when it regularly played concerts at the UFO Club in London.  Fairport Convention was dubbed by many, including the press, as the British Jefferson Airplane, with the band’s first, self-titled album reflecting this style.  Shortly afterwards the original vocalist Judy Dyble left to be replaced by Sandy Denny.  Sandy Denny brought with her the experience she had gained on the English folk circuit and the band’s style shifted slightly on the album What We Did On Our Holidays.  Shortly afterwards, Ian Matthews left, initially for a solo career, before founding his own band, Matthews Southern Comfort.

After recording their third album, Unhalfbricking, the band was involved in a serious road accident, which resulted in drummer Martin Lamble’s death.   Fairport Convention carried on and the genre-defining Liege and Lief album was recorded in 1969.  Once again the line-up changed when Sandy Denny and Ashley Hutchings left, with Ashley being replaced by Dave Pegg.  The new line up of Dave Pegg, Dave Swarbrick, Simon Nicol, Richard Thompson and Dave Mattacks would record the groundbreaking Full House album before splintering again with the loss of Richard Thompson, who left to pursue a solo career.   The band continued like this for a number of years releasing albums and touring, with various members coming and going to such an extent that at one time there were no original members at all.

Fairport Convention disbanded in 1979 but the members decided to unite each year for a concert, usually in or around Cropredy in Oxfordshire.  These regular reunions became so popular that the band became a full time proposition once more in 1985, continuing to record, release albums and tour the world.

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