Mudcat Café message #3405520 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #146981   Message #3405520
Posted By: GUEST, Tom Bliss (remember him?)
16-Sep-12 - 05:08 AM
Thread Name: Fairport on BBC4 Tonight
Subject: RE: Fairport on BBC4 Tonight
Well, I so seldom get folk fixes these days that I was delighted to find the Fairtions on my telly box on friday. I greatly enjoyed the evening so I brose in here to see if anyone else had. Oh dear.

I don't really know why I'm writing this but it makes a change from my current finger-fodder, so why not?

First, what on earth is wrong with 'plodding'? In terms of perambulation speed it's the ideal pace for taking in views both panoramic and detailed, and - quite rightly - the Fairps recognised that this was the ideal tempo for the genre they were creating: Moving forward at the right speed, with just the right amount of energy for the story. If you're going to add a back-beat to a narrative song you need to make sure that the energy does not overpower the action (something many folk-rock bands fail to understand). L and L was hugely successful because it worked - then, and it still does now. Countess Echo has it on the nose.

As for "persuading second rate sub-pub-rock musicians that teaming up with people who can't play folk music very well might be a combination worth pursuing" yes it absolutely did and what ever's wrong with that? Consenting adults having good clean fun, and many still do. I was one myself, and through my clumsy early attempts I learned, and developed, and grew - to become the shining beacon of cheerful mediocrity that I'm now so proud of briefly having been.

Richard has written some of the finest songs ever penned, period. Dimming of the Day is a masterwork in the understated delivery of raw emotion, harmonic power, lyrical simplicity and melodic originality. Heck, it even has a trad reference or two. Vincent, Walzing, God Loves a Drunk, Wall of Death, Bohemia - the list is endless. And when he wants to he can play as sweetly and commercially as any guitarist who's ever lived, but - because he's one of the few who can, and he wants to - mostly he chooses to challenge our pre-conceptions of what the six-string guitar is for, and as such has beneficially influenced thousands of guitarists.

As for the Confairs today; well, they are charmingly disarming about being their own tribute band, and considering they've loved and lost three or more of the greatest talents of the late 20th C uk scene, they do pretty darn well in my opinion.

Peggy's bass - well, please. Just stop and listen. The guy's simply fabulous, and Gerry - goodness me, fantastic and original playing always.

Poor singing? I'm sorry, but to my ears Simon's delivery of Fotheringay was as good as any I've ever heard, and with the right material he's sublime.

As for the material, well my reputation for never criticising other artists probably correctly outweighs my reputation as a songwriter, so I wouldn't dream of casting aspersions on a few of the newer songs (and I'll leave it to my pretend friend to suggest they made a mistake in turning down songs offered to them by a writer of my intimate acquaintance), but the newer instrumentals are epic - more Stackridge than Swarb, and all the better for it.

And can I just finish to say how nice it was to hear Judy again. That first album blew me away, and it was her voice that was the wind.

Lots of love

Emeritus R. Tist (hugely influenced by FC and proud to be a fan today)