Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography
Fairport Convention - Tipplers Tales CD (album) cover


Fairport Convention


Prog Related

3.03 | 23 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Easy Livin
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
3 stars Time for one more

"Tipplers' tales" was Fairport's second and final album for Vertigo records, the label deciding as a result of poor sales to buy out the remainder of the contract the band had with them. Now consisting of the quartet of Simon Nicol, Dave Swarbrick, Dave Pegg and Bruce Rowland, the band was undoubtedly in decline and unsure of their future. Dave Swarbrick's growing hearing problems and the increasingly itchy feet of the band members generally meant that this would be Fairport's last album for some seven years.

This is not to say this is a poor album, or indeed that the recordings were not a happy time. By all accounts, the members thoroughly enjoyed making this album, the theme of which is loosely based around drinking. The problem was simply that this was the wrong album for the times.

Many of the tracks here are, as has become the norm, traditional pieces arranged by Fairport. We delve straight into such a number with the opening medley of two jigs and reels which introduce "Ye mariners all". The resulting three part suite is also given the umbrella title "Ye mariners all". Swarb provides the vocals here, his fine tones being heard all to rarely on Fairport albums. "Three drunken maidens" is a subtle adjustment to the traditional song title of "Four drunken maidens", the change being rumoured to dispel any confusion with the band members! This short folk song keeps things simple but amusing.

At over 11 minutes, "Jack O'Rion" is one of the band's longest tracks. It is though a medley of six traditional songs and tunes. To that extent, it has a passing similarity to "Matty Groves", "Jack O'Rion" telling a lengthy tale, followed by an instrumental passage.

The remainder of the songs are rather lightweight short pieces of lesser consequence. We have a three brief Dave Pegg compositions (one with Bruce Rowland), and a couple more traditional songs. "Lady of pleasure" is the only non-band composed song being a risqué Allan Taylor number written in a traditional style. The songs will appeal to Fairport traditionalists though, being well steeped in folk.

The final track is Fairport's take on the well known traditional folk song "John Barleycorn", a song about beer which has also been used by Traffic as the title track to an album, and has been covered by Steeleye Span among many others. Fairport's version lies somewhere between the dirge like version of Traffic and the upbeat jig of Steeleye Span, while emphasising the folk elements of the song.

In all, an album on which Fairport emphasise their folk leanings strongly. While it is probably only of any real interest to the Fairport faithful, the quality of the music and of the performances should not be understated.

Easy Livin | 3/5 |


As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password


Social review comments () BETA

Review related links

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: — jazz music reviews and archives | — metal music reviews and archives

Donate monthly and keep PA fast-loading and ad-free forever.