What We Did On Our Saturday offers 25 cuts, all but three dating from 1967 to 1973 and just one – the pleasant Our Bus Rolls On – from the last 20 years.
Proceedings open with a storming Time Will Show The Wiser from the 1967 debut album, reuniting original vocalists Judy Dyble and Iain Matthews and featuring Richard Thompson’s sublime guitar work. Fairport’s 1969 folk-rock classic Liege & Lief is represented almost in its entirety, with Chris While channelling the late Sandy Denny most effectively, and Thompson is heavily featured on a string of tracks from the follow-up Full House.
Ralph McTell performs a moving White Dress while Sally Barker, PJ Wright and Maartin Allcock pay tribute to the late Trevor Lucas with a rousing rendition of the Fotheringay track The Ballad of Ned Kelly.
There’s the usual Fairport ending of Meet On The Ledge, performed by practically everyone who has been involved with the band over the last 50 years (and are still alive) and supported by the massed vocal talents of the Cropredy crowd. We’ve heard it so many times before but those Thompson lyrics – “When my time is up I’m gonna meet all my friends… it all comes round again” – still bring a lump to the throat.
This is both a worthy document of an obviously successful festival and a fitting celebration of half a century of great music – Fairport could say Farewell, Farewell now and this recording would provide a fine finale.