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Fairport’s Cropredy Convention Memories – Dave Pegg: Time Tunnel

One of our favourite festivals makes its long awaited return this year; Fairport’s Cropredy Convention.

Scuppered due to COVID and lockdowns, Fairport’s Cropredy Convention is back, and with a bill that is, as expected, varied and plentiful.

Traditionally, Fairport Convention close out the festival on the Saturday night of the festival. More recently, they have taken to opening the festival on the Thursday too; usually as Fairport Acoustic.

What usually makes the show so unique is the special guests that augment the set the band play. It has, over the years, seen many different and varying people play with the band.

In previous weeks we have welcomed Chris Leslie and Gerry Conway back on the pages. This week, we welcome Dave Pegg back to the site. We’ve welcomed Dave onto the site before when he wrote of his affection for James Taylor in our Why I Love column (read here). For this piece, Peggy tells us of legends of music and comedy at Cropredy! Over to Dave…

dave pegg cropredy 2018 74 fairport

We are a very lucky band having our own festival at Cropredy every second weekend in August. Over the years we have had the joy of being joined by musical chums who have made  “surprise appearances” 

One of my favourite moments was when Sir Billy Connolly (who wasn’t booked to appear) asked if he could get up and do  a spot. In those days we used to have an hour tea break on Saturday in order for the audience to get a bite, have a stretch  and a tiddle and get ready for the evening session. We had just announced this when Billy requested doing a bit! He walked on stage and the minute the audience realised what was occurring, they all about-turned and came back to this wonderful impromptu set.

Magic!

The Procols (Procul Harum) Gary Brooker treated us one year to the missing verse in ‘Whiter Shade of Pale.’ A verse only performed once before. What a great singer he was.

Which reminds me of Robert Plant singing ‘The Battle of Evermore’ along with Jerry Donahue’s daughter Kristina. Robert also allowed us to become Led Zeppelin one year and how amazing it was to have him singing an Elvis song or two with Jerry Donahue and Richard Thompson. Scotty Moore plus Richard also sang an amazing version of ‘Heard it Through The Grapevine’ along with Roy Wood with Roy’s girl brass section and vocalists and Ric and Chris doing the string arrangement.

There have been many other great performances which I am sure my fellow bandmembers will report. See you at Cropredy I hope.

Cheers,

Peggy.

Our thanks go to Dave Pegg for these recollections. I wonder what collaborations will happen when Cropredy reconvenes this year?

Fairport’s Cropredy Convention takes place on 11th, 12th and 13th August. You can buy tickets online here.

Watch Dave Pegg introducing Robert Plant, alongside the brilliant Kristina Donahue, to the stage at Cropredy in 2008. Chris Leslie also spoke fondly of this moment.

Fairport Convention: Official Website / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram

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