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cover Not Quite As Good As Being There Would Have Been...
The Cropredy Box
3 CD box; Live at their 1997/30th Anniversary Cropredy Festival
Fairport Convention
and a whole mess of Other People

Having managed to make it to Cropredy for Fairport's twenty-fifth anniversary reunion [1992], i had hoped to make it over for this one as well... but it was not to be.

And, while my memories of that previous trip to Cropredy, when compared to the CD version (The Twenty-Fifth Anniversary Concert, which is also worth having, {if you can find it} to say the least) lead me to believe that this set is in no way a satisfactory substitute for Having Been There, still it is, withal, a fine and pleasing set of tunes and vocals, indeed.

There is not and never has been a band that can compare to Fairport in doing what they do -- which is the effortless blending of the most modern rock sensibilities with the most traditional of folk music and everything in between, as well, and this set confirms it yet again.

It is wonderful to hear essentially every still-living member of the band (save, i believe, Iain Campbell, who couldn't make it) getting up there on the stage and re-creating the various line-ups one after the other -- especially since there are no live recordings from some of the more interesting versions of the band, and this set does a little to fill that lack.

It's heart-warming, as well, to know that everyone there extended well-wishes to usual MC Danny Thompson (who was in hospital, but, i understand, recovered just fine), a fine fellow, excellent MC and outstanding bass player.

Every time i listen to this set, it reminds me that i have pledged to make it at least once more to Cropredy before all of us geezers (on both sides of the mike) die or get too old to perform...
((Also included is a phone recording of an April Fool joke Simon Nicol played on Dave Swarbrick many years ago. It's hilarious, but the little label that says "includes explicit Swarbrick" is a warning to be heeded -- this is definitely *not* something one could play on even FM radio without a little cleanup...))