Peggy celebrates 50 years with Fairport, a new album and the start of the spring tour - check the video

Fairport bass player, Dave 'Peggy' Pegg, who lives in Banbury, opens this year's spring tour celebrating 50 years as part of this folk institution.

Tuesday, 28th January 2020, 6:16 pm
Updated Wednesday, 29th January 2020, 11:08 am
Peggy - 50 years on - with bass guitar and (l - r) Ric Sanders, Simon Nicol, Gerry Conway and Chris Lesile

His incredible anniversary coincides with the launch of Fairport Convention's latest album, Shuffle and Go and the annual spring tour first night in Tewkesbury tonight (Wednesday) - a sellout.

The band - Peggy on the bass, singer and guitarist Simon Nicol, fiddlers Chris Leslie and Ric Sanders and drummer Gerry Conway - were practising at Woodworm Studios, Barford St Michael today earlier this week in preparation for 23 dates around the country.

Peggy said: "It’s a very special year for me as I am celebrating 50 years of being the band’s bassist. My very first gig was on January 29, 1970 at London’s Hampstead Country Club, 50 years to the day before we kick off our tour in Tewkesbury at the Roses Theatre. This has been the opening gig for many years and this year we will be playing many new items as we

have our new CD to present.

"I have to say that personally I am really chuffed with this release. There are two new Ric instrumentals – one of which, Steampunkery, is a monster to play, while Precious Time is such a lovely tune. On a record full of delights, there are five new Chris Leslie songs, two from our friend Rob Beattie, two from James Wood, one from PJ Wright and one from James Taylor. I reckon it’s the best album we’ve done for many years.

"To celebrate my 50 years I have treated myself to a new bass. When I joined FC in 1970 I was playing a Fender ’62 Precision with an added jazz bass pickup and a slimmed down neck. I had a jazz bass too which sadly got stolen. I have purchased a JHS J74 four string to try and recreate how I played all those years ago."

To see Peggy in action at Glastonbury, long hair and all, in 1971, see the YouTube video on this page.

The cover of Shuffle and Go - designed by Mick Toole

"Fifty years in FC has had its highs and lows as you can imagine. I have shared the stage with Sandy Denny, Trevor Lucas, Dave Swarbrick, Bruce Rowland and Maartin Allcock who have all sadly passed as has Rob Braviner and many people who became great friends because of Fairport connections. The highs have been sharing the music and company of some great musicians and getting to play at some of the world’s best venues," Peggy said.

Shuffle & Go is Fairport Convention's 30th studio album and the 13 tracks - all new Fairport recordings - span a wide range of moods. It is already receiving excellent reviews. John Barlass, of At The Barrier, said: "For me, the album’s standout tracks are the title track, plus another couple of Chris’s songs, the sublime Moondust and Solitude and The Year of Fifty Nine, Ric’s Precious Time and the wonderful Moses Waits, a song from Rob Beattie."

Recorded and mixed by John Gale, Shuffle and Go features Simon Nicol on guitars and vocals, Peggy on bass guitar, mandolin and vocals, Chris Leslie on fiddle, mandolin and vocals, Ric Sanders on violin and Gerry Conway on drums and percussion.

For more information about Fairport Convention and the new album go to the website here.