Fairport’s Cropredy Convention 2023 Playlist

This year, we are delighted to be invited to curate a playlist of songs for the festival on the Saturday of the festival in between the live music on the main stage.

Hello, and welcome to the At The Barrier Cropredy Playlist! If you are new here, welcome! If you have been here before, welcome back! Please have a look around our site; we have loads for you to read!

A list of songs is just that, a list. However, a lot of the songs we have picked for our playlist have been picked for a reason.

First of all, we wanted to share music that we have discovered through At The Barrier via artists reaching out to us, word of mouth, or as is par for the course, a PR company emailing us. Then we wanted to get into some favourites, some covers, and tip the hat to previous Cropredy turns. Below is a little taster of why we picked certain songs.


You will notice perhaps unfamiliar names like Craig Gould, Maz O’Connor, Matt McGinn, Elli De Mon, Lunatraktors, Ruth Angell, The Lost Trades, Barbara, Annie Keating and Katie Jacoby. All these artists have released great music over the past few years. Craig Gould wrote his album with charity in mind after music saved him. Songs From The Campfire (review here) showed measured assessments of mental ill-health and its many causes and the profits from the album were donated to CALM. Matt McGinn has been ploughing away in Northern Ireland for a few years with his heartfelt and compassionate song writing. Writing On The Wall is a track that builds and builds in a Springsteen style way.

Maz O’Connor became a firm favourite of ours pre-lockdown but when she returned with What I Wanted in 2022, you could see the progression in sound and the evolution of her great talent (review here). Jessica is a brilliant example of this. Annie Keating has been getting rave reviews from many quarters but getting the nod of approval from Bob Harris is one to be coveted. Annie is also playing Septembersong Festival on 15th September (info here). The Lost Trades are a three-piece group that deal in high quality harmonies and wonderfully tender music. They even recorded a Cat Stevens song especially for us for a feature on the great man (read here). Barbara are a brilliant duo from Brighton who have toured with previous Cropredy headliners, The Divine Comedy. We’re big fans here.

In the music business, there are many independent labels showcasing great music. Two in particular that we wanted to highlight are Mellowtone and Lunaria Records. Both labels have put out some superb music over the past few years with Mellowtone releasing the excellent Martin’s Garden (review here) from Seafoam Green and Lunaria Records releasing Wanted (review here) from blues trio, Five Points Gang. Both of those records are well worth checking out.


Any good selection of songs has some older numbers scattered throughout. Super Stupid is one of the finest examples of the talent Eddie Hazel had on guitar. As part of Funkadelic, he channelled Hendrix but by God he had his own inimitable style. This is more on the realm of hard rock than funk…but that’s what made Funkadelic great; you couldn’t put them in a box.

Pink Floyd are one of the most important bands ever. We wanted something summery from the band, so we plumped for St. Tropez. It’s a gorgeous, if throwaway song from their transitional 1971 album, Meddle. Midnight Oil released their latest album, The Makaratta Project, in 2020 (review here). The album was written in support of Aboriginal land rights. We picked Beds Are Burning as everyone loves to hear a massive fist pump of a song at a festival.

You can’t beat a bit of rock’n’roll and ZZ Top and Thin Lizzy both deliver on that front. Climax Blues Band have been on the bill at Cropredy before (1989); and Osibisa have the same standing having played in 1997. In 2010, it was great to see the legendary Little Feat on the stage and a couple of years later, Dennis Locorriere (of Dr. Hook fame) played in the special guests to Fairport slot. Another couple of Saturday guest slots that we represent here are from Midge Ure, and several turns from Al Stewart over the years.

Cat Stevens / Yusuf is another who has guested with Fairport. Once Island labelmates, they played together at Cropredy a few years back. Caravan are another act who have graced the stage at Cropredy (back in 2019).


Cover versions are always fun, if done right. Scattered throughout the playlist are several cover versions. Kate Rusby’s take on Taylor Swift’s Shake It Off is wonderful. On a different note and style, Steve Hillage covering The Beatles on It’s All Too Much is excellent. The guitar work on the solo in the song is sublime.

Katie Jacoby, one of the newer names we mentioned, is a violinist and her take on T-Rex’s Cosmic Dancer is wistful and haunting. Another of Fairport’s previous special guests was Paul Carrack and he is represented here with his rendition of Bruce Springsteen’s moving If I Should Fall Behind.


Robert Plant & Alison Krauss have made great music together; as a Cropredy regular, it would be remiss of us not to include something ‘Planty!’ Travelling Band have had some great times on the Cropredy stage, and Battlescars is one of their best, and cheeriest.

Trevor Horn has been on the Cropredy bill a couple of times over the past few years, and there have been countless Yes related appearances over the years. So, Owner Of A Lonely Heart felt like the right pick. With an opening riff like that, you just cannot disagree!

The late David Longdon, whom many will know from his Between A Breath And A Breath album with Judy Dyble, duets with former Spock’s Beard man Nick D’Virgilio on Big Big Train’s The Florentine. A few years ago, we were also privileged to welcome David Longdon to our pages in our Why I Love column, here.

Who can forget Martyn Joseph stunning Cropredy in 2022 singing There Is A Field. It was truly a magnificent moment in the blazing heat of last year. Public Service Broadcasting are one of the most unique bands around. Spitfire is a fine cut from a quite brilliant discography. We think they’d be great at Cropredy.

As Cropredy is tagged as a folk festival, we had to include some traditional folky numbers. Sam Sweeney is a veteran of the folk scene having played in Bellowhead and Kerfuffle. Ímar are a Glasgow based band and Bangers is just that! It’s brilliant. There is also the shanty punk of Skinny Lister to get everyone moving and the moving Rigs Of The Times from the unique Lunatraktors. In addition to this; we couldn’t forget the maestro Ralph McTell. In The Dreamtime gained prominence as it was used on Billy Connolly’s World Tour of Australia. Similarly, we couldn’t forget The Oysterband, folk rockers The Magpie Arc (featuring Nancy Kerr and Martin Simpson) and Jim Moray and Sam Carter’s False Lights. The stunning duo of Hannah Sanders & Ben Savage were the also most recent tour support for Fairport.

A few other notable picks include the inventive duo of The Blackheart Orchestra with their beautiful song, Under The Headlights and seeming Cropredy regular, Fish. Another beauty is that of Opeth’s Will O The Wisp; an acoustic led piece from the Swedish metal legends. In the same vein as Opeth, there is Porcupine Tree, who have been touring Europe this summer and played The Sound Of Muzak at each show. It sounded wonderful and is really infectious.

Elsewhere, there will be a story or memory that a song evokes as you hear them. We would love to hear what songs you have enjoyed, or new discoveries you might have found. Similarly, if you have any ideas for artists that you feel we should listen to, please let us know. We really hope that you enjoy the playlist we have curated. It was a lot of fun putting this together.

Have a great festival.

You can listen to the whole playlist on YouTube, here.

If you would like to keep up with At The Barrier, you can like us on Facebook here, follow us on Twitter here, and follow us on Instagram here. We really appreciate all your support.

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