What We Did Instead of Holidays

Fairport Convention And Its Extended Folk-Rock Family
A History by Clinton Heylin

Route is delighted to announce the publication of a stunning new biography from one of the leading rock historians in the world. Click here to pre-order a signed first edition hardback.

In June 1968, a group of Muswell Hillbillies made their official album debut as Fairport Convention. In the next fifteen years, three of those founding Fairportees – Richard Thompson, Ashley ‘Tyger’ Hutchings and Simon Nicol – along with the next generation of Fairport recruits – Iain Matthews, Sandy Denny, and the three Daves: Swarbrick, Pegg and Mattacks – would form a veritable dynasty of English folk-rock, each pursuing their own path, but always returning to work with each other, to collectively produce albums with a near-eternal appeal.

Which is why every year since 1979 in a field somewhere near Banbury, 20,000-plus fans have congregated to celebrate this music’s enduring appeal at the Cropredy Festival.

So, fifty years on, now seems like the right time to tell the full story: to collect all the family lore that surrounds Fairport and its surrogates, and to disentangle the many highs and lows from those first fifteen years of Fotheringport Confusion.

Drawing on interviews with all the musicians and key figures in English folk-rock – including producers extraordinaire Joe Boyd and Sandy Roberton – Clinton Heylin has produced the definitive history of a folk-rock family in its golden era.

Candid, clear and cogent, presented with insight and chronologically, Clinton Heylin ties the loose threads of Fairport and its offshoots together in their own words. Diving deep beneath the surface of the music into the lives of the principals, he answers many un-asked questions.
Simon Nicol, Fairport Convention co-founder & longest serving member

We were young and ambitious. Learning the game without a manual or safety net. No one was exempt. Clinton Heylin has absolutely nailed the way it was. I recognize myself in this story and realized some interesting things about my former band mates. An enthralling read for any Fairport fan.
Iain Matthews, lead vocalist of Fairport Convention 1967-69

First edition hardback contains three colour photo-sections with previously unpublished photos.

ORDER: Be among the first to read this book. Click here to pre-order an exclusive author signed first edition hardback.

Clinton Heylin is one of the leading rock historians in the world, with over two dozen books to his name. These include biographies of Bob Dylan (Behind The Shades), Van Morrison (Can You Feel The Silence?), Bruce Springsteen (E Street Shuffle) and Sandy Denny (No More Sad Refrains), as well as his acclaimed pre-punk history, From The Velvets To The Voidoids, and the one and only history of rock bootlegs, Bootleg. His highly acclaimed titles It’s One For The Money and Anarchy In The Year Zero were nominated for the Penderyn Book Award. His most recent titles, JUDAS! and Trouble In Mind, are in-depth accounts of the two electrifying periods in Bob Dylan’s career when he was roundly booed. He lives in Somerset.

 

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Paul Hanley Charity Shop Classics

Paul Hanley on All FM’s Charity Shop Classics show. Guests are invited to present a selection of records bought in charity shops. Paul presents his selection to host Gavin Hogg and includes a bit of Herman’s Hermits, Tommy Steele and perhaps the corniest Perry Como track you’ve ever heard, amongst others. There’s laughs aplenty between the records and talk of Leave The Capital.

Click here for more on Paul Hanley’s Leave The Capital

And a tow, row, row, row

Michael Nath paid tribute to Mark E Smith at an event at the Poetry Café. Covent Garden, London, ‘A Celebration of Mark E Smith and The Fall’ held on Monday 12th February, a few short weeks after Mark’s death. Here’s what Michael read on the night.

And a tow, row, row, row, row.
In memory of the Captain …

  1. Who gave life to words like ‘Kentledge!’

  2. Who used scat-sounds against Slaughter and the Dogs, for they ran out of lyrics in ‘Cranked up Really High’. The Captain never ran out … ‘Ba ba me-oo me-oo’.

  3. Who blew his nose on stage. Oh to have kept the tissue, and sold morsels to sinners! The Nightingales supported, in Country and Western shirts. Sheffield, 29th October 1981.

  4. 30th April 1982. Retford. The Fall played the legendary ‘Backdrop’. By 2008, I’d confirmed this. The support group were from Iceland: Don’t forget the Cod War! (I’d feared my old man might be conscripted.) In the audience, punks and miners scrapped. It was hard, but it was merry.

  5. In ‘Garden’, what got me was the gather-and-surge. Like, There’s always more, where that came from! You’ll not be left alone … 26 years on, it was the power-surge in ‘Slippy Floor’: that got me like Yeats, Nineteen Hundred and Nineteen, Part VI – where he raises demons.

  6. 7th Oct 1985, or was it 1597?, I saw the Cap and Brix on Princes Street, just above Waverley Station. He wore zipped boots, and looked like Allan (“Sniffer”) Clarke – Leeds Utd No.8. Mrs McRae confused ‘My New House’ with Shakin Stevens’ chart topper. At night we drank whisky and cloves.

  7. Aug ’88. The Captain left Tollcross Supa-Store with a bag of mini-Marathons and a pack of Superkings. His overcoat was good and he bore a doctor’s bag. I didn’t say hello on this occasion either.

  8. There are far lovelier songs than ‘Edinburgh Man’, the gist of which was only that whisky was served in ¼ gill measures in some pubs in Fountainbridge. So a large Scotch gave you 1/8 of a pint – in England only 1/12. 1/8 is a drink, 1/12 a kind of dampness in the glass. I will not list far lovelier songs.

  9. The gigs at The Forum weren’t up to much. Nonetheless, I saw myself in them.

  10. Nov ’98 at The Astoria. He tidied up after the group. They were young, and left their things all over the shop. My pal Nick Groom took this image away.

  11. September 2014. I came upon Brix at a Route/Rough Trade event: Last time I saw you, you were rotating on a burger! She ‘laughed’.

  12. Let us pause on the Captain’s total humour: the word for such humour is hilaritas. So I learned from the letters of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, hanged at Flossenbürg, April 9th 1945.

  13. I’ve mentioned years and intervals and dates. So a genuine cult comprehends your time. You can measure yourself, without leftovers. A genuine cult also takes your time: think of Dragnet. Of course there was life before The Fall, but it was unredeemed – like the time of the virtuous Greeks.

  14. Kentledge’ is a word for ballast, something Captains know to be vital.

And green grow the hedgerows along the walls … ’

Click here to listen to Michael discuss The Fall in a podcast ‘A Drink With Michael Nath’ recorded in July 2010. Fall discussion begins at 32:33

Paul Hanley on Church of The Fall

Paul Hanley talks with Steve Titley on the Church of The Fall show on FAB Radio International, discussing Leave The Capital, Strawberry and Pluto studios and the music of the Hollies, 10cc, Herman’s Hermits, New Order, The Fall and Brix and The Extricated among others. With musical interludes.

Running time 1:02.17 . First broadcast Friday 15th December 2017

Click here for more on Paul’s book Leave The Capital

The Hanley Brothers at Classic Album Tuesdays

Steve and Paul Hanley were special guests of Classic Album Tuesdays and talked to guest host Gavin Hogg about The Fall album Perverted By Language. Here they talk about the album, their respective books (The Big Midweek and Leave The Capital), playing with Brix & The Extricated, and they take questions from the floor.

On the evening, Perverted By Language was played in full on vinyl. Here, just a single track is included for educational purposes.

Running time 47:35. Recorded at Edward’s, Sheffield on 28 November 2017. Both brothers are audibly suffering from a cold virus, which it appeared that 80% of the nation was carrying at that time.

The Big Midweek website
Leave The Capital website