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Alrewas Village Hall

Postcode: DE13 7AA

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The Beginnings of Fairport Convention

Show Details

Presented by Ashley Hutchings & Becky Mills

Performance date and time
Sunday, 9th February 2020
8:00 PM

Happy 50th birthday (and a bit) to hugely influential musical trailblazers turned national treasures Fairport Convention. Here Fairport co-founder and 'Guv'nor of British folk-rock' Ashley Hutchings traces the band's early years, its triumphs, its tragedies, and its acknowledged origination of English folk-rock. In this very special 'spoken word and music' celebration, Ashley draws from his 1967 diary to vividly paint the group's formation and the late sixties music scene, and is joined on reworkings of songs from his Fairport career by the impressive singer/ guitarist Becky Mills: folk-rock history spooling before your very eyes and ears. _________________________________________________________________

Ashley Hutchings: spoken word, vocals, bass guitar Becky Mills: spoken word, vocals, guitar

The unique story of the foundation of the seminal Fairport Convention and of the British folk-rock revolution as seen through the eyes of one of its most pivotal figures. Devised by Ashley Hutchings MBE - a natural raconteur and an elegant wordsmith as well as an adventurous musician - to celebrate the group's 50th anniversary, this entertaining words and music show sees Ashley read from his 1967 diary, relating the formation of the band against the late sixties' music scene of Bob Dylan, Jimi Hendrix and The Beatles. Woven through with songs from the early days of Fairport performed by Ashley and the impressive singer/ guitarist Becky Mills, including many not on the first four albums, this is a must-see for anyone interested in folk music and its development, and the wonderful decade of sixties' music. Part book reading, part anecdotal reflection, part theatrical performance, part concert: folk-rock history spooling before your very eyes and ears. 'The Beginnings Of Fairport Convention' has been presented at Cromer and Cropredy festivals to great success. Ashley Hutchings' long and distinguished musical career includes being a founding member of three of the UK's most influential folk acts: Fairport Convention, where he played on the band’s first four albums, including the pioneering folk rock classic 'Liege & Lief'; Steeleye Span, recording three successful albums with them before breaking away in 1971; and the Albion Country Band, which subsequently evolved into the Albion Dance Band and the Albion Band, with Hutchings remaining at the helm throughout. With Hutchings the Albion Band became the first electric group to appear in plays at London's National Theatre. They also 'electrified' Morris dancing, exemplified by the various artist sets 'Morris On' (1972) and 'Son Of Morris On' (1976). Knaresborough-based Becky Mills is a former member of the critically acclaimed band Waking The Witch and guest vocalist on recent albums and tours by Ashley Hutchings and Ken Nicol (Steeleye Span). 'Exquisitely arranged and sung from the soul… a joy.' Mono Magazine (on Becky Mills) 'I have a very large address book, full of musical contacts over 50 years. When I have a new project nearly always the first person I go to is Becky. A wonderful singer, guitarist, songwriter and totally reliable friend.' Ashley Hutchings MBE 'Character, skill and beauty; words that quite naturally come to mind when called on to describe the evocative way in which Becky delivers a song. Whether it be a light-hearted piece, or a story with more gravity, the moment she begins to sing, you can't help but feel a sense of depth and honesty that comes directly from the heart.' Ken Nicol (Steeleye Span, Albion Band)

'Ashley Hutchings is the single most important figure in English folk rock.' Bob Dylan 'Folk-rock giant Ashley Hutchings' standing in Britain's folk pantheon is indisputable… co-founder of Fairport Convention, Steeleye Span and The Albion Band… a man still twisting the familiar into brave new forms.' Uncut Magazine

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Performer's website

Running time
90 min + interval

Audience Type
Adults/Older Children

Age Range

Ticket Prices
£10.50 Standard

Other Ticket Information
Doors open 7.15pm.

Main Box Office Telephone Number

Available From
At Alrewas Pharmacy or The Bank Coffeehouse, Alrewas, or call Lorna Lewis: 01283 790 799

Additional Information
Doors and bar open from 7.15pm.

Venue Accessibility (See Key for more information)

Live & Local affirms that when a disabled person’s access requirements necessitate them being accompanied to a performance, that person and their personal assistant should be able to purchase two tickets at a total cost of no more than the cost of a one full-priced ticket. Promoters are advised that this is best practice that is now supported by an established legal precedent.

Steps at entrance Ramped approach up to entrance

This performance is supported by:

Lichfield District Council Logo

Arts Council, England