Fairport Convention – The Cropredy Box

Cropredy 1997 was a valiant attempt to bring together all the significant Fairport line-ups. At best, this is a memento of the occasion, and should carry a "For Diehards Only" warning. With Ian Matthews absent and Vicki Clayton only a spirited stand-in for the irreplaceable Sandy Denny, this ersatz model sounds unconvincing. Only the Full House band workouts truly pass muster, with both Richard Thompson and Dave Swarbrick in sparkling form. The rest reflects the patchiness of Fairport's work from the mid-'80s onwards, when the band's salad days were over.

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Cropredy 1997 was a valiant attempt to bring together all the significant Fairport line-ups. At best, this is a memento of the occasion, and should carry a “For Diehards Only” warning. With Ian Matthews absent and Vicki Clayton only a spirited stand-in for the irreplaceable Sandy Denny, this ersatz model sounds unconvincing. Only the Full House band workouts truly pass muster, with both Richard Thompson and Dave Swarbrick in sparkling form. The rest reflects the patchiness of Fairport’s work from the mid-’80s onwards, when the band’s salad days were over. This is ragged, boozy folk, great fun if you were there, but otherwise like enduring a neighbour’s rowdy back-garden party.

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