Here we carry on directly from the last post, where we observed that the first unique thing about the bonus tracks on the CD is that they comprise one long piece, being the very first half hour (approximately) of a gig in Sydney in January 1974. The second unique thing is that they are extremely good, much better than the original LP! With the wonderful benefit of hindsight, the LP should have comprised the bonus tracks plus “Sloth” from the actual LP tracks, making about 40 minutes running time. This would have made it a truly excellent record, but a closer investigation into the matter demonstrates why this could not have been.
It will be recalled that the band introduced onto the stage as “Fairport Convention” is the 5 man line-up of “Nine”. Indeed, the first three tracks are from that record, including a mind-blowing 11 minute version of “Bring ‘Em Down”. Remember, what we have here is the unbroken first bit of a show; and this means we get all of Trevor Lucas’s amusing links between the songs, the fourth of which is a quiet, brilliant solo by him of a song called “Far From Me”. After the end of this he mentions that Sandy Denny has tagged along, and invites her onto the stage, where she duly appears to much applause.
The final bonus track is a Buddy Holly rock’n’roll number, “That’ll Be The Day”, where Sandy belts out a perfect lead vocal, making a marvellous cadence to this little piece of history. The effect is most moving in these later years, and was clearly very theatrically effective at the time.
Obviously, however, in selecting stuff for the LP in 1974, the huge idea was to emphasise the fact that Sandy Denny had rejoined the group; and so we got what we got.
That last Buddy Holly song as “Dennyfied” first came to light 2 years previously with an outfit calling itself “The Bunch”, which means a slight detour, starting with the next post.