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Fairport Convention - What We Did On Our Holidays CD (album) cover


Fairport Convention


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3.61 | 91 ratings

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Sean Trane
Special Collaborator
Prog Folk
3 stars With Judy leaving (first for Giles, Giles & Fripp then Trader Horne), being replaced by ex-Strawbs Sabdy Denny, many consider WWDOOH the first classic Fairport, but if you read my review on their debut, this one is not any better, far from it. First I always found Sandy Denny's aura greatly exaggerated (she was very much at ease in the pub circuits downing pints and picking fights, yelling and koking with the boys etc., but not exactly my type of woman), and her songwriting and singer capacities over-rated. With a very scribbly artwork depicting the group in concert, WWDOOH is not a good album if you akk me as we have to wait the flipside to find something interesting.

Indeed the opening side starts on the incredibly over-rated Fotheringay, a very average track that for some reasons catches some by the weak point, but if it's really nothing to write home about, it's not a bad track, just not worth the fuss. There are some very basic tracks like the boring Mr Lacey, the boring (and percussively deranged) Book song, the hideous gospel Lord Is In This Place (leave that kind of stuff to Sister Rosetta Tharpe), the poor semi-jig (on the loathed-by-me accordion to top it all off) No Man's Land, and the never-ending sleep-inducing Dylan cover Keep It With Mine... Nothing of interest and more US sounding than most of the debut album, WWDOOH's A-side is a pure write away, and if not for the flipside, it would be the worst thing that Fairport would've done.

But from the first notes of the fading-in Eastern Rain, we just get transported in a different dimension, somewhere close to Pentangle crossed with Joni (this is a Mitchell cover), but the real gifts come with the solemn Nuttamun Town and She Moved Through The Fair, both traditional tracks both handled in the Pentangle manner, drummer Lamble obviously listening to Cox, but The Trees will do a more definitive version of the latter. Stuck between these two covers is the rockier Tale In Hard Time, a good track that would've been a filler on their debut album. The album closes on another two tracks, the classic Meet Me On The Ledge and the fine guitar finale of End Of Holiday

To me, WWOOH is even a step backwards to the group's general progression from US folk to UK folk rock. If it wasn't for the flipside's two traditional covers' presence, this would be a very unremarkable album despite most fans claiming two classics (Fother and Ledge). Holidays is not enugh a strong album to stand as a good introduction to FC, but then again I can't think of one that would except for a compilation.

Sean Trane | 3/5 |


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