The Godfather of Folk Rock comes to The Apex
Prompted by the 50th anniversary of Fairport Convention, Ashley Hutchings has put together a new and entertaining words-and-music show which covers the beginning and early years of the group.
Ashley, AKA ‘The Guvnor’, was a founding member of three of the most noteworthy English folk-rock bands in the history of the genre: Fairport Convention, Steeleye Span and The Albion Band.
A great success at the last Cropredy festival, ‘Ashley Hutchings revisits Fairport Convention’ is perfect for anyone who has an interest in this important legacy of English music and culture.
“Ashley Hutchings is the single most important figure in English folk rock.”
Hutchings first achieved recognition as a co-founder of Fairport with Simon Nicol and Richard Thompson in 1967, but his work and his musical influences predate the band by several years. As such, Ashley is uniquely positioned to delve back into the heady days of 1967 and tell the story from inside one of its most-loved bands.
Fairport Convention performed a mix of traditional English folk, original songs, and American singer/songwriter material. Widely credited with inventing folk rock, a hybrid of imaginative revivals of traditional material with modern instrumentation and rhythms, Fairport began increasingly penning their own material.
“Ashley’s vision was equally important, bringing indigenous folk music to the rock and roll generations, in a language which they could understand”
Radio DJ John Peel was a staunch champion of Fairport’s music; he played the band’s albums on his influential BBC shows and recorded a number of sessions. The group enjoyed their biggest success with the album Liege and Lief – the ‘Most influential Folk Album of all time’ (BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards’ 2007), after which Ashley left to form Steeleye Span.
“The most important aspect of his contribution to music, apart from the bands he organized, is his ability to take traditional music long predating this century, and transmute it into something accessible to young, modern listeners, without violating its spirit wholesale. Hutchings has a sparkling sense of humor that radiates as brightly as his musical ability on most every project he has ever participated in.”
Hutchings has overseen numerous projects, including records and live theatre, and has collaborated on film and television projects. He has won numerous Folk Awards and was awarded the MBE in 2015 for services to folk music.
“He’s a true British one-off, a keeper of flames and an igniter of new ones” Ian McMillan
Ashley Hutchings revisits Fairport Convention with songs and anecdotes at The Apex on Wednesday 31 January at 7.30pm. Tickets are £15, call the Box Office on 01284 758 000, or visit www.theapex.co.uk for more information, or to book.