Ranking Bob Dylan’s 39 studio albums- #34- Bob Dylan’s 20th studio album release- Saved [1980} 2 1/2 stars. Bob Dylan’s nearly sixty year career has at times been highly controversial- his going electric in the mid-60s and turning his back on the folk movement immediately comes to mind. But the most controversial- to this day […]RANKING BOB DYLAN’S 39 STUDIO ALBUMS- #34: SAVED [1980} — slicethelife
It doesn’t get much more classic than this song by The Band. I’ve covered the “Playing for a Change” version with Robbie Robertson, Ringo Starr, and many musicians across the world. It’s been covered by many artists but The Bands version will always be the goto version for me. Robbie Robertson said he wrote this […]
2020 Album Draft- Round 4- Pick 1- Introgroove selects- Joni Mitchell- Blue Introgroove’s blog can be found at – https://introgroove.com/ Judge: “Introgroove, you are accused of musical acculturation in the first degree. How do you plead?” Me: “Guilty as charged…” We’re now into the fourth round, and I realize I could fill my top 50 […]
An Evening of Brilliant Music, Humour and Poignancy in Spalding.
On the Saturday evening of May 11, ‘folk rock’ band Fairport Convention once more graced the stage at Spalding’s Civic Centre.
Although the auditorium was not quite full, there was a good, convivial atmosphere, helped by the band members’ laid back approach, great sense of humour and also by the timeless quality of the music aided by a back catalogue of over fifty years, even though the subject matter of these songs is often anything but genteel.
Take the song ‘Matty Groves’, described by founder member Simon Nicol as having two chords and nineteen verses. The song itself is a traditional, lascivious and violent tale, originally adapted for Fairport’s landmark album, ‘Liege and Lief’ in 1969, and is delivered with a rocky, cutting edge, one of the best examples of ‘folk rock’ in my opinion.
Cutting Edge Rhythm Section
Throughout the performance, that cutting edge was amply provided by the deft skills of the highly experienced rhythm section, namely Gerry Conway on percussion and Dave Pegg, the latter’s dexterous familiarity with all of the neck of his bass guitar being a wonder to behold, as was the light hearted attitude he exuded. I have seldom seen a more lyrical example of great bass playing.
Not to be outdone, however, Gerry gave a stunning, virtuoso percussive performance which combined his conventional, rather minimal electronic set with what I understand to be a traditional Peruvian drum called a Cajon (Spanish for box) on which he actually sat all night. Simply remarkable.
And the evening was not all about the band’s older back catalogue either. For example, there were lovely performances of songs written more recently by multi-instrumentalist Chris Leslie, whose easy transition from fiddle to mandolin to guitar to tin whistle… was amazing.
Conversely, yet equally impressive, was the fiddle-dedicated Ric Sanders, whose unconventional, at times jazz influenced, reverb infused playing style, perfectly complemented the rest of the band.
What is more, there were the fantastic vocal harmonies too, adding to the overall richness and quality of the sound.
Leader of the Band
However, the undoubted leader of the band is founder member Simon Nicol, whose precise, often understated guitar playing could not be overlooked, especially by amateur guitarists like myself who appreciate exactly how well he does it.
Furthermore it was Simon who provided the most poignant parts of the evening. The band’s rendition of Sandy Denny’s ‘Fotheringay’ was a particular highlight, sung with deep feeling by Simon, the story of Mary Queen of Scots final hours in 1587.
Equally moving and with some local interest too, was Ralph McTell’s beautiful song ‘The Hiring Fair’. Simon had clearly seen the statue ‘The Hiring’ recently erected in Hall Place in the town centre, giving a precis of how hiring fairs used to work throughout the country.
And so to the encore, which had to be the anthemic ‘Meet on the Ledge’, one of the band’s best known songs. It’s exactly fifty years since the tragic road accident which took the life of drummer Martin Lamble and Jeannie Franklyn, who was Richard Thompson’s girlfriend.
In the aftermath of the tragedy the band nearly split up. Thankfully for us and to continually honour those who died, they decided to carry on, though it was clear that the anniversary of the event was leaving its mark on what was a very enjoyable evening.
Finally, there is the Cropredy Convention which takes part every year in August over three days. If you missed them this year on their spring tour, why not try to catch them at Cropredy? There are many other bands and musicians to see and a good time will be had by all, that’s for sure.
A throbbing disco bass
callously pounding my chest,
turning symptoms of flu
into something feeling serious.
I’d dragged myself there
against good advice,
that trashy little down in Drab County
whose only claim to fame
was its fine timber spire,
which made historians
and architects alike, drool;
the sort of town which made
the English feel proud of their past,
even if the present bore no hope,
no prospect of colour. A future
And pride! What was I doing
knocking back gin like tomorrow
did not exist?
Barely able to stand—
but still lord of the dance!
But it was you who held the cards,
the full deck.
You knew what you wanted
and how to get it.
I was the hopeless case,
a clueless pawn in your set up
with worldly guys from the Smoke
who were waiting by the door,
(forever waiting by that door!)
deriding us country boys—
knew enough about language
of the body, its gestures.
The cold morning brought eerie clarity,
despite pain in my head
to match the dagger in the heart. Oh—
you could keep your magnanimous lift.
I was hitching back.
The full seventeen miles,
even if only the bravest of drivers
would dare stop to pick up
in the sick stained jeans
poem and image © copyright df barker 2012