Thursday, May 28, 2015

Vinyl log 11 - 28 May

28May1976Richard Thompson(guitar, vocal)
28May1976FairportGottle o' geer

Whilst I remember buying the Richard Thompson double vinyl album, I seem to have blanked on the Fairport album, which is not too surprising.

In May 1976, I would have returned to university after having worked for six months in the food industry (Schweppe's). I recall spending part of my lunch breaks wandering around the small shopping centre in the Elephant and Castle district of London, which was close by. I would often go to a greengrocer and buy a pear; there was a shop which sold records (I think that it was a branch of W.H. Smith and Sons) and I would browse the racks.

I don't remember whether I knew that this album had been released, or whether finding it was a happy surprise. Which every way, it was a very welcome addition to the RT canon: it contained bits and pieces from earlier days (especially 'Ballad of Easy Rider' and 'Poor Will and the hangman', two excellent Fairport tracks) alongside two very long guitar workouts from the November 1975 tour. I don't think that I knew at the time that this album signalled RT's temporary retirement from music, as he went off to a Sufi commune in Norfolk.

Fairport (having temporarily lost the Convention part of their name) were in their second nadir,  after 1972. Then they rebounded with 'Rosie', which is part Swarbrick solo album and part left overs from Fotheringay; the result varies from reasonable to charming. But this time round, their final Island album was a waste of vinyl. There were maybe two interesting tracks on the album, but it was not something which I enjoyed listening to.

The sleeve features a six piece Fairport line up which toured briefly but never recorded - certainly they did not play on this record. I actually saw this line up in Southend at a day long festival. I remember riding there and back much more distinctly than the concert itself: I was nearly in an accident whilst riding there. In the evening, it rained; it took me two hours to drive back to London and due to the rain and cold, I "froze" into position on the motorbike. Someone had to help me get off the bike and thaw out. I remember going round a roundabout two or three times as I couldn't figure out which exit I needed.

While I was in Italy, the anniversary of a few record purchases flew by. I'll try and fill in the logs in the coming week.

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