AS the bells from St Mary the Virgin rang out at 4pm on Thursday so too, on a sloping swathe of Oxfordshire farmland half-a-mile away, did a fiddle, an acoustic guitar and a mandolin.
The sky was filled with threatening white-cum-greyish clouds and a mild drizzle descended but Fairport Convention were already in full flow.
“Bring along, the brewer said, bring the cuckoo tree, Bring your lady mother along to keep us company…..”
It has become customary for the band to open their three-day summer soiree, Fairport’s Cropredy Convention, with a brief acoustic set before their mammoth, festival-stopping production a couple of days later.
And on this occasion they included one of their jauntiest, most endearing songs from a near half-a-century career, Walk Awhile, a Fairport Convention classic.
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