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FAIRPORT CONVENTION `Before the Moon' (NMC Music 2002)

Recorded live in 1974 at Ebbers Field, Colorado with the line-up of Sandy Denny (vocals), Dave Swarbrick (violin/vocals), Dave Mattacks (drums), Dave Pegg (bass/vocals), Jerry Donahue (guitar) and Trevor Lucas (guitar/vocals).

`Rising for the Moon' with its country tinged guitars starts disc one of in fine style with Sandy Denny's vocals ringing clear in the mix. You also get on disc one the epic `Sloth' with Dave Swarbrick's vocal talents on display, the classic `Matty Groves', the Sandy Denny solo song appropriately entitled `Solo' and the frantic instrumental `Hen's March/Medley'.

The second disc gives you Dave Swarbrick fiddling in overdrive on `Fiddlestix' and Swarbrick taking lead vocals on 'Heaxmanshire Lass'. Again it is very informal with plenty of between song banter and anecdotes.

A nicely packaged CD with a long and interesting interview with Dave Pegg conducted by Rock Ahead's Jon Kirkman in early 2002. Only downside is the mumbled song intros at times. A must for Fairport fans and worth a look just to see one of the many great Fairport line- ups in their best



Review by Jason Ritchie

© 2003 All rights reserved.

***** Out of this world | **** Pretty damn fine |
*** OK, approach with caution unless you are a fan |
** Instant bargain bin fodder | * Ugly. Just ugly

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