The Sound and the Fury

Down at the Hop Farm in Kent at the weekend. Fantastic line-up. Van Morrison in great form. Some say they caught him smiling for a split second. Some say it was indigestion. Dylan playing numbers you could recognize even before the chorus. Dr John harmoniously growling along. Seasick Steve getting the sound of a raucous six piece out of three strings. The younger crowd singing along both to Mumford and Sons and to Ray Davies. And then a series of fantastic acoustic acts: Laura Marling, Johnny Flynn, and possible future-tree subject, Pete Doherty, charming us all. Add The Magic Numbers, Stornoway, Richard Thompson, Peter Green, Blondie, Devendra Banhart and many more, and you might have to agree with Marcus Mumford that it was the lineup of the summer.

Enjoyable as it was, it would have been even better had it not been for the incessant funk rhythms booming out from the chicken rotisserie concession, just spitting distance (I know, I tried) from the main arena. Is it time for a rock against rotisserie campaign? I mean, I would have liked to have heard the quieter numbers from Laura Marling but it was never going to happen. And don’t get me started on the screams coming from the fairground rides.

Am I alone? Or do others feel that someone should have a quiet word with Vince Power and his mates to remind them what we have come to hear?


Had a lovely, virtual chance meeting with Judy Dyble, original Fairport Convention vocalist prior to Sandy Denny, over on a certain social networking site.
Judy had a fascinating post Fairport career taking in stints with such talents as Lol Coxhill, Jackie McAuley and Robert Fripp before settling down to work as a librarian and run a tape duplication business.
Invites to perform with Fairport at Cropedy brought the music making urge back into her life however and you can hear samples of her latest album – featuring many of her former collaborators here :
Click here for more the samples
Judy’s stint in Fairport was brief but it did get recorded for posterity in this poor quality but musically fascinating clip.

Titled Resolving The Fairport Confusion Pete’s original Fairport Convention Tree was researched and drawn while suffering from a runny nose in 1979.
Its the updated version, completed in 2002 for the Fairport Boxset, that features in our limited print run.
Looking at the original I was struck by the dedication to the band and the late Sandy Denny – not only does Pete credit them with getting him into journalism he also says the benefit concert they played in 1969 insured that his mag, Zig Zag stayed a going concern and was still going strong 10 years later.
A significant band in more ways than one. And , of course, Sandy Denny, well…