FOLK-rock band Fairport Convention are having a busy year. Not only did they power through a winter tour and are busy planning their own annual Cropredy Festival in north Oxfordshire, but they are also getting stuck into a spring tour with two other dates in the county.

Tomorrow they play The Theatre, Chipping Norton, then on Sunday, they pitch up at The Fleur De Lys in little East Hagbourne, near Didcot.

Both intimate shows promise to be a real treat to fans of the band – who are one of the biggest and best-loved surviving groups of the 1960s.

The band, who are officially based in Oxfordshire, are not leaving it there, either. They play Banbury Trades and Labour Club on August 5 and 6 as a warm-up for the festival itself, which runs from August 8-10.

Nearly 50 years on from their seminal fourth album Liege & Lief, Fairport Convention continue to push ahead resetting the bar ever higher and with no signs of slowing down. And they remain modest of their considerable achievements.

“I don’t expect anything special over and above what we deserve as a working band in the swim with our contemporaries,” founder member Simon Nicol told us last time we spoke.

“We ask fans to judge us for who we are, not who we once were.

“Who Fairport Convention are in 2019 are a band who will make your night out go with a song,” says the guitarist, who appears in the current line-up along with bassist Dave ‘Peggy’ Pegg, violinist Ric Sanders, singer, fiddle and mandolin player Chris Leslie and drummer Gerry Conway.

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"Audiences, not postcodes, make the music memorable. The adventure of being on-stage playing music became a way of life, rather than a passing phase. The songs may have developed, but the gig’s the same.”

With the band still playing their best-loved songs, like anthems Meet on the Ledge, Matty Groves, Come All Ye and Fotheringay, an evening with Fairport Convention is still a folk music lover’s dream.

“Sometimes we even play the 19 verses of Matty Groves in the right order,” Simon laughs.

Fusing English folk music with rock, they went on to define a a new musical style, scoring incredible success. 1969’s Liege & Lief, is one of the most influential folk records of all time.

“I started out being a schoolboy with a guitar, pursuing an ordinary hobby of being in a band with a few of my mates,” says Simon. “I forgot to finish my education, get a pension, a career or even something definable as a job!”

Tickets for tomorrow’s show from