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Fairport Convention - Who Knows Where The Time Goes? CD (album) cover


Fairport Convention


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3.69 | 14 ratings

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4 stars The last of my later day Fairport Convention album reviews concludes with this gem from 1997. Who Knows Where The Time Goes is a transitional album that ushered in new man Chris Leslie before he put his own indelible stamp on the band's sound with own songwriter and lead vocals. This is also the last album to feature the mighty Dave Mattacks on drums and I don't think that it's a coincidence that album still maintains the more rocking sound that has a been a hallmark of the band's sound since he joined the FC for the Liege And Leif album way back in 1969. His energy seemed to invigorate the band, especially rhythm mate bassist Dave Pegg who is clearly animated on many of the albums tracks when it's appropriate.

The album starts off with a deft retelling of the British traditional song John Gaudie that's sung by new man Leslie and features many Trad. instrumentals as well as a catchy manic chorus. The evergreen Simon Nichol picks up vocal duties for now on starting with another Trad. tune reimagined in Fairport's image, but it's a fine ballad this time around titled Sailing Boat before the band cover's yet another great song from contemporary songwriter Steven Tilston before exploding into a wonderful jig penned by the ever enthusiastic Ric Sanders called The Bowman's Retreat. This song was written to feature both Sanders and new man Leslie trading violin leads which are done with speed and beauty.

The album also features one of the bands last hard rocking songs, Spanish Main, that feature both Nichol and Leslie on dealing electric guitars on the songs brief but stunning coda! It's that type of album.

As a bonus, the album includes and incredible live performance of the band doing a cover of the Motown standard Heard It Thru The Grapevine that's song with aplomb by former member Richard Thompson with horn accompanist and soulful female backing vocals on the chorus.

As if that wasn't enough, the album closes with a moving live edition of the Sandy Denny classic Who Know Where The Time Goes sung beautifully by Nichol. This is not a song he has sung live often, given the requirements of it's vocal range. I can only assume that this is a rare performance of the song performed by Nichol in which he absolutely nails it, as he pitch perfect.

Who Knows Where The Time Goes is another testimony to FC's eighties and nineties creative and performing resurgence and, more than that, it's an album that should be in the possession of every fan of Fairport Convention. 4 stars.

SteveG | 4/5 |


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