• 1976-08-12
  • (Introduction to show, mood of Peel, interesting comments, etc. If possible, please add mentions of gigs attended, football matches, TV appearances, stories of past/current activities, etc, for use elsewhere on John Peel Wiki.)
  • This was the fourth in a record retrospective that highlighted rock groups on the eve of punk, and features Fairport Convention.


  • None



  • Start of show
  • "Well hello again. This is the fourth of ten programmes in which we inspect fairly casually the work of ten important British groups, past and present, including individual key members of those groups. Tomorrow night we're going to take a look at The Rolling Stones and next week it'll be the turn of Cream, the Softs, The Faces, The Yardbirds and The Beatles. But tonight though, it's your Fairport."
  • Fairport Convention: Meet On The Ledge (7") Island WIP 6047
  • "Perhaps the Fairport's best known number, that's Meet On The Ledge, a single taken from their 1969 LP What We Do On Our Holidays, and written by Richard Thompson. And in fact that was the Fairport's second album, and from the first LP another song that was written by Richard Thompson, and Ashley Hutchings ..."
  • Fairport Convention: It's Alright Ma, It's Only Witchcraft (album - Fairport Convention) Polydor 583 035
  • "Well Richard Thompson was a notable guitarist even in those days. ... and on the LP, Judy Dyble of course did a lot of the vocals, and she was replaced for What We Did On Our Holidays by Sandy Denny."
  • Fairport Convention: Fotheringay (album - What We Did On Our Holidays) Island ILPS 9092
  • "Not a bad name for a band, eh Sandy .... and at the same time as the LP was released, Ian Matthews, formerly MacDonald, left the band and is even now recording elegant LPs of a fairly rustic nature in America. Prior to that, he led Matthews Southern Comfort, whose were best known for this."
  • Matthews' Southern Comfort: Woodstock (7") UNI UNS 526
  • "Matthews' Southern Comfort with their cover of Joni Mitchell's Woodstock and I was rather surprised to see from Rockfile 2 that that got to number 1 in the autumn of 1970. And I suppose most people, and certainly I would regard the golden period of Fairport Convention as being the period which embraced the LPs Holidays Unhalfbricking and Liege & Lief, and from the middle of those, Unhalfbricking this a personal favourite,
  • Fairport Convention: Percy's Song (album - Unhalfbricking) Island ILPS 9102
  • "... Bob Dylan's Percy's Song. The best known spin-off from the Fairports have been Steeleye Span."
  • Steeleye Span: False Knight On The Road (album - Please To See The King) B & C CAS 1029
  • Steeleye Span: Jigs: Paddy Clancey's Jig / Willie Clancy's Fancy (album - Ten Man Mop Or Mr. Reservoir Butler Rides Again) Pegasus PEG 9
  • "never fails to bring a touch of spirit to my generally lifeless gigs. Steeleye Span with a couple of jigs from the LP Tin Man Mop Or Mr. Reservoir Butler Rides Again. And before that or course, Martin Carthy's searing Steeleye Span from the LP Pleased To See The King The False Knight On The Road, and we'll hear from Martin again later in the programme. Richard Thompson left the band, left Fairport Convention in January of 1971. Can he have had any premonition of what was to come when he wrote this song, for their 1969 LP Liege & Lief. It's called Farewell, Farewell. Damn fool suggestion if ever I heard one...."
  • Fairport Convention: Farewell, Farewell (album - Liege & Lief) Island ILPS 9115
  • "He writes a good song,does young Richard, and we shall hear more of him before the night is over....whereas from the LP Full House this will be Sir Patrick Spens."
  • Fairport Convention: Sir Patrick Spens (album - Full House) Island ILPS 9130
  • "well there you are, it just shows you, you should never trust bonnie boys, wherever they are.... the harrowing story of Sir Patrick Spens, sung by Dave Swarbrick of course. And as I said Richard Thompson left the band in January of 1971,messed around for a couple of years, and then with his wife Linda recorded one of my all tme favourite LPs, I Want To See The Bright Lights Tonight. A couple of track from that, including the title track."
  • Richard & Linda Thompson: I Want To See The Bright Lights Tonight (album - I Want To See The Bright Lights Tonight) Island ILPS-9266
  • Richard & Linda Thompson: Withered And Died (album - I Want To See The Bright Lights Tonight) Island ILPS-9266
  • "...and I'd be happy to do you a whole programme on Richard & Linda Thompson. I think instead we'll return to the parent group. Three tracks from Fairport Convention at different stages of their development."
  • Fairport Convention: Si Tu Dois Partir (album - Unhalfbricking) Island ILPS 9102
  • Fairport Convention: Bridge Over The River Ash (album - Angel Delight) Island ILPS 9162
  • Fairport Convention: Rosie (album - Rosie) Island ILPS 9208
  • "...and Sandy Denny made many, wrote many, excellent tunes, and recorded them both inside and outside Fairport Convention, but this I think remains her best known."
  • Fairport Convention: Who Knows Where The Time Goes (album - Unhalfbricking) Island ILPS 9102
  • "Sandy Denny, singing her own song... Much credit is due to bassist Ashley Hutchings for his dedicated work on behalf of English traditional dance music, and it's to him and Royston Wood that we must be thankful for the lamentably short-lived Albion Country Band, a band which included another Fairport stalwarts in its numbers, Simon Nicol and also Martin Carthy and from the LP Battle Of The Field, this is the excellent Gallant Poacher."
  • Albion Country Band: Gallant Poacher (album - Battle Of The Field) Island HELP 25
  • "well as i'm sure you must have realised by now these programmes are not really intended as in-depth probing analyses of a group's work, but as I'm equally sure you must have realised, an excuse for playing some of my favourite records. And on tonight's programme we've been looking at the work of Fairport Convention, the programme being produced by John Walters with his customary skill, and tomorrow night we'll be looking at the Rolling Stones...."


  • a) Peel ---08-76 Fairport
  • b) 1976-08-12 Peel Show.mp3
  • a) 07:13, 15:13, 38:59
  • b) 1:01:21
  • a) Three separate wma files in a zip folder. Many thanks to Peel Mailing List member klacktoveedesteen's mate's parents.
  • b) Single mp3 created from the above by Weatherman22
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