Fairport Convention upgrades Banbury gigs

By Sarah Edwards at

Oxfordshire’s folk rock legends Fairport Convention are planning a musical surprise in Banbury during the run-up to their annual Cropredy festival in August.

The band traditionally stages two pre-festival ‘warm up’ concerts on the Monday and Tuesday before the festival opens its gates. This year’s concert dates are Monday 5th and Tuesday 6th August.

In previous years Fairport has invited guest musicians to join them on stage during the Tuesday ‘warm up’ gig. But for 2019 the invitation will include the Monday night as well.

The venue is Banbury Trades and Labour Club on West Bar Street just two minute’s walk from Banbury Cross (Satnav OX16 9RR).

The augmented line-up – already dubbed ‘Fairport Extension’ – will include guest appearances by friends of the band, including former drummer Dave Mattacks. They will perform rarely-heard songs and instrumentals from the band’s vast back catalogue.

“We’re really looking forward to playing as a ten-piece band,” says Fairport bassist Dave Pegg. “It will allow us to play the elaborate musical arrangements which featured on past Fairport albums. We don’t often get a chance to play these ‘big production’ numbers live on stage. Although guests are usually restricted to the Tuesday night ‘warm-up’ we will invite them to play at to the Monday show as well so that everyone gets a chance to hear the extended repertoire.”

Fairport expect both nights to sell out in advance and recommend booking in good time. Tickets are on sale now from the band’s website www.fairportconvention.com

Photography by David Jackson