Fairport Convention - 50:50@50 album review

Feel like a number

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It’s their 50th anniversary and this album is equally divided between live and studio tracks. So that’s the title sorted, but any suggestion that Fairport Convention are playing by numbers can be swiftly dispelled.

Time may have dulled some of their digital dexterity but their enthusiasm is undimmed, as is their ear for what makes a good Fairport song – like the traditional Lady Of Carlisle, with Pentangle’s Jacqui McShee on vocals, Steve Tilson’s The Naked Highwayman or John Condon.

They also get behind Robert Plant (a regular at Fairport’s annual Cropredy Festival), who works up a gospel fervour on Jesus On The Mainline, a song he first performed with them some 25 years ago.