Pegg rests in the USA after bust-up

DESPITE a falling out between Fairport Convention band members, the Cropredy Festival is still going ahead.

The row during an American tour has caused a split in the band.

But the musicians say the problems that resulted in only three of the acoustic band doing the tour dates did not mean there was any threat to the annual Fairport festival in Cropredy.

Bass player Dave Pegg, who has been suffering stress following the break up of his 37-year marriage, has taken a temporary break from the band for a period of rest and recouperation in the USA.

The others – Simon Nicol, Ric Sanders and Chris Leslie – honoured Fairport's American dates and have returned home to Oxfordshire.

Peggy and his wife Christine separated early last year after nearly four decades of marriage and two children, Stephanie and Matthew.

They were admired as one of the few long-surviving marriages in the busy and pressured music world.

Having spent all of that time in Fairport Convention, Dave also spent a number of years as bass player for Jethro Tull.

The couple also have two grandchildren, the second, a girl called Ava, born to Stephanie at the Horton Hospital at the beginning of the month.

The Peggs' divorce has necessitated complicated legal and practical negotiations since much of Fairport Convention's business was routed through Chris and Dave's recording #company Woodworm Records.

The Cropredy Festival was also run through Woodworm with Chris dealing with much of the organisation from the couple's offices in Barford St Michael.

The property included their historic home and a recording studio, housed in a former chapel.

The festival is now run by Fairport Convention Limited and the band has establshed its own record label, Matty Grooves.

Fairport spokesman Gareth Hughes said: "They've been in each other's pockets for over 30 years now and things did all come to a head in the States.

"They did let off a bit of steam. Simon, Ric and Chris continued to do the East Coast gigs but the half dozen West Coast gigs were postponed. Dave went down to Florida to stay with some friends and he's now making his way across to California and from there he'll come home.

"The others got back a week or so ago and they're all chilling out at home.

"As Simon said on the Fairport website, Dave's place in the band will be waiting for him and we're all looking forward to Cropredy.

"There are also some Dylan Project gigs to do before the festival."