Melody Maker Circa July 4, 1970

by Pete Brown

THE FAIRPORT CONVENTION were greeted with a great ovation at their welcome home concert at Hornsey Town Hall, North London on Thursday.

It was unfortunate that a film unit was present because this seemed to cause sensitivity among the group as they appeared to lose their usual high degree of professionalism.

As lead guitarist Richard Thompson remarked: "We use our stage act to rehearse," and although he was joking there did appear to be a certain element of truth in the quote, although the vocals of Dave Swarbrick and his unique manner on electric fiddle did hold the group together especially on "The Deserter."

A very surprised audience wildly applauded their jig style number of "Dirty Linen" all of which gave the Convention another chance to show off their original style which allows them to carry the exclusive folk/rock tag.

One of the most unusual acts ever seen was delivered by Roger Spear, formerly of the Bonzo Dog. Spear managed to give a fascinating 30 minutes incorporating his multi musical talents with his comedy. Using self made robots fitted with tape recorders he ad libbed the whole of his act transforming old music hall gags into today’s pattern of comedy.

Patto, led by ex- Timebox lead singer Mike Patto brought excitement back to the pop concert platform with Mike gyrating across stage while the group belted out "Government Man" and "Something Snapped" both self composed and contained on their forthcoming album. –PETE BROWN.

Note:  This is a review for the June 25, 1970 show at Hornsey Town Hall, London.

Nitpicking:  "Something Snapped"? This is a stretch, but maybe this was actually "Hold Me Back"?



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