Sunday, 6 January 2013

Fairport Convention Bouton Rouge Sessions - The British Jefferson Airplane Takes Off

The wonderful performance below is from the French TV Show "Bouton Rouge". It was broadcast live on 27 April 1968 and features the original Fairport Line up of Judy Dyble, Iain Matthews, Simon Nicol, Tyger Hutchings, Richard Thompson, and the late Martin Lamble playing Morning Glory, Time Will Show The Wiser and a simply awe-inspiring mind-melting performance of Reno, Nevada.

Fairport Convention in 1968
At this time Fairport had just released their first album and were very influenced by American folk rock and psychedelic groups like Jefferson Airplane, Bob Dylan and The Byrds. The sound, look and name of the band led many to think that either they were an American band or at best just a British version of Jefferson Airplane.

The star of the show is definitely Richard Thompson who is seen here in mega guitar hero role. After a fairly muscular solo in Morning Glory he delivers an astonishing perfectly paced 4 and a half minute six string marathon in Reno Nevada - so full of power, invention, imagination that the solo seems to run away with itself. Is Richard playing the guitar or is the guitar playing Richard? For the duration of this nearly 5 minute solo they are no longer the British Jefferson Airplane copying their heroes but arguably go beyond anything the Airplane, Grateful Dead or other San Francisco bands were doing in early '68 (although it must be said that the Dead would start to achieve similar high levels of  jazz inspired improv syncopation before the year was out but that is another story and post).

And to top it all the band just look so damned cool. As the solo finishes Judy Dyble slowly gets up and wanders back to the microphone and the whole band just have a look of Hey this is nothing special. We are this shit hot every night. The epitome of cool...

After this performance they signed with Island Records, Judy Dyble left the band to be replaced by Sandy Denny and they went off to reinvent British folk rock.

Watch and wonder...
(Thompson's solo is from 08:30 to 13:05)

More Bouton Rouge sessions

The Faster We Go...

No comments:

Post a Comment