Album review

Fairport Convention - Liege And Lief (Deluxe Edition)

Fairport Convention - Liege And Lief (Deluxe Edition)

R1969

Rightly considered a folk-rock landmark, Fairport’s fourth album contains music too mercurial to be constrained within one genre. Not that it ever looked as if things would turn out quite as happily. Conceived of after a tragic van accident, Fairport added traditional English music and a renewed sense of purpose to their already diverse elements, and emerged triumphant.

Here on “Reynardine” or “Tam Lin” the kind of musical interplay – particularly between guitarist Richard Thompson and violinist Dave Swarbrick - that the band had explored in 'Unhalfbricking'’s “A Sailor’s Life” is blended with vernacular song to mesmerising effect. The unstable marriage of elements wasn’t destined to last, but with Liege And Lief the band didn’t just homage folk roots – they found new routes of their own.

JOHN ROBINSON

Rating: 4 / 10

(Universal)


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Editor's Letter

The 46th (And Last) Playlist Of 2014


Sorry I didn't manage to post a playlist last week; a combination of germs, deadlines and various other professional/seasonal distractions meant that I ran out of time.

Here, though, is our last office list of 2014, with lots of strong new entries. A few highlights...