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A Chat With Dave Pegg

Fatea's John Knighton met up with Fairport Convention's legendary bassist Dave Pegg recently at the annual Fairport Cropredy Convention in Oxfordshire.

John: How did Cropredy all come about?

Dave: There was a one-off event in 1975 and we played in the back garden of Anne Crossland's house, she was the wife of Labour MP Richard Crossland and was a lovely person. Very supportive.
In 1976 we played the first concert in front of 800 people, the next year 1200, and the year after 1800 - all in the back garden.

John: Must have been quite a back garden?

Dave: Oh yes it was part of a farm. The first time we played we had other people playing like Ashley (Hutchings) and friends. On August 4 1979 Fairport played at Knebworth, supporting Led Zeppelin.

John: I know I was there... one of 100,000!

Dave: We played Knebworth in the morning and came back here and played our final gig in front of 4000 that evening. It was quite a day!

John: After Fairport you joined Jethro Tull?

Dave: Yes, it was thanks to Richard Digance and it enabled me to set up Wormwood Studios and keep Cropedy going. We've had several sites over the years as we've got bigger. We have a fantastic team and were lucky to get Gareth Williams, who worked for Oasis for five years, and he does a fantastic job.

John: Over the years you've had lots of guests at Cropredy?

Dave: Well yes, I've been able to use my Birmingham contacts so we've had Robert Plant, Dave Wood of Wizzard and lots of others over the years. Cat Stevens just turned up and asked if he play. He wanted to know if he could perform in front of a crowd again. The one I really want to come is Jeff Lynne. I keep asking, so perhaps one day...

John: Next year is a landmark year for Fairport Convention?

Dave: It is our 50th anniversary and we have a big tour planned, there'll be a new album and the next Cropredy will have as many former members of Fairport as we can manage. Richard Thompson will be playing, he's going to be doing some different things.

John: And what about the future, can Cropredy keep going?

Dave: Well, I hope that when I'm gone the Festival will still carry on. We have a great festival team and I'm sure they will keep it going.

John: Many thanks for your time

Dave: It's been very good meeting you.

PJ & Peggy

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