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Most of this blog is related in some way to the music, books and films produced by Gonzo Multimedia, but the editor has a grasshopper mind and so also writes about all sorts of cultural issues which interest him, and which he hopes will interest you as well.

Wednesday, 30 September 2015

I’ve Always Kept a Unicorn: The Biography of Sandy Denny review


Sandy Denny in September 1971: “Her natural talent would never desert her nor would her almost overwhelming stage-fright.” Photograph:  Steve Wood/Evening Standard/Getty Images
Like a signal losing strength with each passing year since she died 37 years ago, the legend that is Sandy Denny has begun to fade. But her friends and fans continue to call out her name. Richard Thompson, who played with her in pioneering British folk-rock band Fairport Convention, introduces this sympathetic and solidly comprehensive survey of her life and work with a cry from the heart.

“As decades pass, and fashions in music come and go, I realise more and more that Sandy Denny was not only the most important singer of my generation, but that no one has come along to touch her since. Who has her dynamic range, from unbelievable power to a whisper, all with the utmost expression? Who has her musical intelligence, her ability to sing the right thing at the right time? Who has her command of the dramatic, and her ability to tell a story by inhabiting the song? Then there is the unique and distinctive songwriting . . . and her great charisma as a performer – it leaves the rest of the field forever struggling to catch up.

Alexandra Elene MacLean Denny was born in Wimbledon, London on January 6th, 1947 into an unremarkable middle class London family. Sandy was at times “mischievous” and “headstrong”, she was described by a grammar school friend as “bubbly, self-confident, happy and full of life”. Natural talent When Denny accepted a scholarship in 1965 from Kingston Art College – she was a talented artist – she was already playing support slots at some of the folk clubs then mushrooming around 1960s Britain.

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CURRENTLY AVAILABLE AT GONZO:

Fairport Convention and Matthews Southern Comfort
DVD/CD - £9.99

Live In Maidstone 1970
CD - £7.99

Live At Maidstone Castle 1970
DVD - £9.99

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