01 November 2017

New Fairport Documentary on Sky Arts in November

In November Sky Arts will broadcast a new television documentary on Fairport titled 'Fairport Convention: Folk Heroes'. The 75-minute film will go out at 9pm on Saturday 25 November 2017 and marks a fitting conclusion to Fairport's fiftieth anniversary celebrations.

The documentary tells how Fairport Convention emerged in 1967 and went on to shake English folk music by fusing it with rock. The film covers Fairport's first few years in detail then moves to the present. The closing sequence was filmed during the band's Saturday finale at Cropredy this year when most of the surviving former members joined the current line-up on stage.

In the documentary Fairport and their friends tell the story in their own words rather than through a scripted narration. There are newly-filmed interviews with the current Fairport members and, among many others, Ashley Hutchings, Richard Thompson, Iain Matthews, Judy Dyble, Ralph McTell, Joe Boyd, Suggs, Maddy Prior, Bob Harris, Rick Wakeman, Steve Winwood and Ian Anderson of Jethro Tull. There is also rare archive interview material including Sandy Denny.

The film is directed by Charlie Thomas who has been working closely with Fairport for over a year. He explains the approach he has adopted: "Our aim is to explain to general viewers how important Fairport's influence has been and continues to be - in other words, why the band matters.

"We have not set out to make a comprehensive, year-by-year history of FC. That has been done before. Instead, the film concentrates on two periods - the first five years and the band today. So there are no lengthy explanations of the many 70s line-ups or the 1980s reformation.

"The film shares its focus between the pioneering days and Fairport's fiftieth anniversary at Cropredy this year - past, present and future are linked as the film cuts back and forth between these bookends of the story."