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This album comes at a time of big changes for Fairport, with their own new label, and a face into the future, as the title implies. That's all brought a new attitude to the music, with a slightly rawer, more rocking feel, as on "Wait for the Tide to Come In," where Simon Nicol's electric guitar work simply sparkles. The oldest member of a long-running band, Nicol even takes lead vocals on a reworking on their 1969 hit "Si Tu Dois Partir," which even manages to incorporate the percussion break from original drummer Martin Lamble, thanks to the magic of technology, and thus connects the present to the past in more ways than one. Elsewhere the songs are of a consistently high standard, with Chris Leslie's "I'm Already There" a standout. In a couple of places the music veers toward that comfortable middle of the road space Fairport's carved out over the last few years, but they seem to jerk themselves away before becoming too complacent about the music. And when they do veer into instrumental work, "Canny Capers" is the equal of anything they've managed in the past, the twists and gyrations of its lines both daunting and entertaining. There's only one traditional song on this disc, "Winter Wassail," with its small surprises that proves great satisfaction. So what does this say about Fairport for the future? Other than they'll still be there, and that they're in the process of taking a long hard look at themselves, not a great deal. But if this new attitude and grit persists, there'll be plenty of excellent music ahead.
Performance CreditsFairport Convention Primary Artist
Simon Nicol Guitar,Vocals
Dave Pegg Vocals,5-string Bass
Gerry Conway Percussion,Drums
Chris Leslie Mandolin,Violin,Ukulele,Vocals,Native American Flute,Electronic Mandolin
Ric Sanders Fiddle,Mandolin,Violin
Rob Armstrong Mandolin,Vocals,Double Bass,Acoustic Bass
Mike Burnham Violin
Andy Holliman Violin
Chris Myring electronics
Technical CreditsBob Dylan Composer
Steve Tilston Composer
Chris Leslie Composer
Chris Parkinson Composer
Julie Matthews Composer
Ric Sanders Composer
Ben Bennion Composer