Home Read Classic Album Review: Fairport Convention | XXXV

Classic Album Review: Fairport Convention | XXXV

The British folk-rock pioneers go through the motions on a recycled batch of oldies.

This came out in 2002 – or at least that’s when I got it. Here’s what I said about it back then (with some minor editing):


Old folkies never die; they just stop writing new songs.

At any rate, that’s the sense you get listening to XXXV, the latest from British folk-rock pioneers Fairport Convention. Oh sure, they call it “The 35th Anniversary Album,” but that just seems like a way for them to justify releasing a disc padded with recycled oldies. Granted, a few of these remakes are fairly enjoyable. I Wandered By A Brookside and The Deserter are suitably twee and medieval, Portmeirion features Ian Anderson on flute, and they even dig up Now Be Thankful, a chestnut from the era of Richard Thompson and Dave Swarbrick. On the downside, none of them improve upon the originals, nor does this predictable disc feel like much of a celebration. Rather, as it drags on, it sounds like the group are just going through the motions on autopilot, churning out these songs for the umpteenth time. Or at least the MXXXVth.