F is for Fairport Convention

Liege & Lief coverBetween 1970 and 1974 I don’t remember many notable gigs taking place in St. Andrews.   Maybe groups just didn’t fancy the journey, maybe more of them went to Dundee, or maybe I was just, well, otherwise engaged?  But I do remember seeing Fairport Convention, at the Younger Hall and I guess it was 1973 or 4. Then band’s official site describes the 70s as a time of confusion for the group, but as I recall they were still basking in the success of Liege and Lief (still in our ‘record’ collection!) and it was a great night.

It did eventually come to my attention that friends in Ednburgh had access to a much bigger music scene than we did in the East Neuk, but I don’t remember minding too much.  In fact I think the only other group I saw in my student days was Curved Air – an electrifying performance in, of all places, the Kinema Ballroom, Dunfermline.

Even when I moved to Oxford for a year, folk and folk rock were very much the order of the day.  My next musical outing was to a concert (did he do gigs?) by Ralph McTell, he of Streets of London fame.  (Not sure what brought that one on!)

McCartney album coverOf course, Fairport, like so many other aging rockers, are still going, and in the the last few years we’ve  taken to checking out a few of the old-timers:  Elton John, Rod Stewart, and last year even Paul McCartney, who played for a staggering 3 hours on a memorable June night in Cardiff. His first solo album was part of the sound-track to my time as a bejantine in Hamilton Hall.

Those were the days!



About Ali Bacon

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4 Responses to F is for Fairport Convention

  1. kitdomino says:

    Alison, you have brought back such wonderful memories with Curved Air – had forgotten them – and Fairport Convention. And as for Ralph McTell! He is my all time no1. It’s his music I have on most often at home and whilst driving, and he is still doing gigs. Most people only remember him for Streets of London but he’s sung and written so much. A wonderful man whom I’ve met several times. I could even tell you a story about him but that would be letting out too many secrets. Thanks for bringing back a great era and time. As you say, “those were the days”.

  2. optilas says:

    I also went to the Curved Air concert in Dunfermline.
    As for bands playing in St Andrews 1970-74 I recall Hawkwind and Slade.
    The Slade gig was pretty lousy and as the hall emptied I was one of a handful left, went up to “Nobby” and shouted that they were total crap. In later years of course they made it big. At Fairport convention I was a steward, keeping an eye on everyone but for my time got a free pass.

  3. debutnovelist says:

    How great to find someone else who was there – Fairport and Curved Air! Heard one of the tracks from Air Conditioning a few years ago and was transported back through the decades. Nice work with the free pass!

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