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Get A Free Copy Of Prog At This Year's Cropredy Festival

1000 Copies Of The Brand New Issue And Free Prog Bag Up For Grabs

Prog will be giving away 1000copies of the latest issue at this year's Cropredy Festival.

It's the latest issue, Prog 48, featuring the Top 100 Prog Albums. It comes in a free Prog tote bag and you can claim your free Prog swag from the Prog Magazine gazebo by the main stage every day until 5pm (while stocks last).

In the meantime, Prog caught up with Fairport's Ric Sanders to get the low down on the hugely popular, long-standing festival, which starts today in Oxfordshirdshire. Fairport always seem to be on the road. When will you get time to prepare for Cropredy?

“We toured til June 7, and I was meant to be having some time off but I’ve ended up gigging in Oxford! It always comes together, sometimes it is a bit last minute. We have special guests turning up and we’re not sure if they’re coming or not or who they might be [laughs].”

Who’s in charge of the event?

“Cropredy is pretty much organised by Gareth Williams, then Simon [Nicol] and Dave [Pegg] help put it all together. We all get to put in ideas in. I remember saying ‘can we have Nik Kershaw?’ over and over and eventually we did. Then I ended up playing on some of his records, so that went really, really well [laughs]. 

With Fairport’s vast catalogue how do you gather a setlist?

“There’s no methodology. People do request things. We obviously can’t do everything so we’ll try and pick out stuff we haven’t played for ages. We like to represent repertoire like the Sandy Denny songs and we’ll get Chris While or one of our many other favourite vocalists that we’re lucky to know to represent. There’s a huge amount of songs to choose from!” 

Apart from Meet On The Ledge, which closes the festival, is there anything else you know you’re going to play?

“We know we’re going to do some new material as we’ve haven’t done a new album since Festival Bell. We’ll be doing some stuff from our new release coming up in January and we’ll be debuting a new Anna Ryder song. Dave Pegg’s a virtuoso, playing basslines that go with the topline instruments, but since he had his accident in January [slicing a tendon in his hand while unloading his dishwasher] he’s been playing the ukulele bass. If that continues it’ll also affect the set we may play, such as certain instrumentals being ruled out.” 

As one of the ‘new boys’ what’s your Cropredy/Fairport story?

“Cropredy’s origins were in the 70s; the first I was aware of was in my previous life as a jazz rock player. I was just a fan and when I took up fiddle playing and Liege & Lief was one of the first records that I got. As Fairport albums came out I would buy them for fun. Then I was in the audience in 1979 for the Cropredy Farewell. I got quite upset cos I thought I’d never hear Matty Groves again, which I’ve now probably played thousands of times with the band! They decided to have a reunion the year after the the farewell and it went so well that it grew from there. In 1985 I was asked to join the band. Nothing could have surprised me more. They’d had Dave Swarbrick. I couldn’t replace him! Here I am 30 years later.”

Keep up with all the Cropredy action at www.twitter.com/progmagazineuk.

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