The lads of Fairport Convention are having a busy year. Not only did they power through a winter tour and are busy planning their annual Cropredy Festival, which they will book end with opening and closing sets, but they are also getting stuck into a spring tour with two Oxfordshire dates.

On Tuesday they play The Theatre, Chipping Norton, then on Sunday, June 9, they pitch up at The Fleur De Lys in little East Hagbourne.

Both intimate shows promise to be a real treat to folk-rock fans.

The band 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.

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“I don’t expect anything special over and above what we deserve as a working band in the swim with our contemporaries,” says founder member Simon Nicol. “We ask fans to judge us for who we are, not who we once were.

“Audiences, not postcodes, make the music memorable,” 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.

“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.”