For Fairport Fans Alone. it's 71.4 % Fairport!
Steven I. Ramm | Phila, PA USA | 02/19/2008
(3 out of 5 stars)
"This DVD is a curiosity and is a must for true Fairport fans but will only be of cursory interest to the occasional fan or "newbie". The main selling point is that this is the only known filmed footage of the legendary "Full House: lineup of the group.
But be aware that - though the running time is listed as 46 minutes - this is a 31 minute film (shot on film, not video) plus a new 15-minute interview with Director Tony Palmer done in 2007. And of the seven musical numbers, two are by Matthew's Southern Comfort (whose leader - Ian Matthews - was previously in Fairport).
This was a performance at a May Fair for families and Palmer's camera crew give you plenty of shots of families and little children (including the end of a diaper change!). The print was remastered but the sound could never be considered hi-fidelity.
As we learn from the Palmer interview, he was hired to make the film as a tax loss (!) by Producer Stanley Baker when he found his film "Zulu" becoming a surprise hit! No mention is made of a longer film of Maidstone though the film was produced for, and appeared in, "Cinemas" in the UK.
So, if you are a Fairport completist, this is one for you. They are still a great band. Otherwise, know what you are getting inside this package.
Sheer Bliss - Who Knows Where the Time Goes !
David S. Jenkins | On the Road | 06/03/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Forget all the complaints herein posted about the brevity of the product - yes we get only five numbers - but this is the ONLY footage in existence of the Fairport Convention lineup that brought us "Full House" and "Angel Delight," and that in itself makes this a mandatory purchase for any fan of this exquisite little band. Despite its feel of being over too soon it's surely worth five times the price to anyone who has held this band in their hearts for almost forty years.
This was shot on lushly toned color video (and it looks GREAT) on very short notice and intended as a short-subject in UK cinemas, as was quite common for rock bands of the era. We're brought back to the days when we all had flat stomachs and lots and lots of hair, and the feel is undated, warm and joyous. Appearing in front of a low key family audience at a small country fair, the band is having a great time and this is fully reflected in the music made. What brilliant players they were, here in absolutely top form, and Dave Swarbrick's fiddle and mandolin work is simply blinding, a perfect compliment to the flawless and quite moving vocals.
While rejoicing that Fairport are still out there trodding the boards, always to be relied upon for the highest quality performances, one does feel a tug at the heart, wishing that this quintessential lineup of Pegg, Mattacks, Nicol, Thompson and Swarbrick had not had such a short run.
(This is the band I saw open for Traffic at the height of their fame, delivering such a scorching set that Winwood and company wouldn't take the stage for well over an hour.)
Thanks to Fairport for 39 years of fun. What great times they were!
Duane R. Wirdel | 03/04/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Picture quality, sound quality and the number of songs performed don't really matter with this release. If you are a hardcore Fairport fan you must have this dvd because it IS the only film of the Full House lineup, except for an obscure PBS show in the early 70's about roots rock, featuring FP, Rod Stewart and Tyrannosaurus Rex. This is HISTORIC. If you are only marginally interested in FP, don't bother with it, but if you're a big fan, BUY IT!"
Tony Palmer and his friends
Paul Healy | 09/18/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is a film about the luckiest audience in the world. To be so privileged that you get to see and hear such fine musicians, playing with astonishing virtuosity, would be the greatest thing. What's great about these songs presented on this DVD is that you can also idly speculate about some of the audience, who might be thinking, "What the...?" To be in England's green and pleasant land in the summer of 1970, to witness this radical reworking of British folk music, and to hear this five piece outfit, photographed so expertly and edited with such rhythmically poetic skill, would have been perfection. The fact that Tony Palmer shot this concert (in between working for Cream and Frank Zappa) gives a contemporary audience a chance to get a brief glimpse of musical genius which, comes along only too rarely. Thank you Tony, and thanks to players like Dave Swarbrick and Richard Thompson for giving the world such a magical treat."