Fairport Convention to play John Peel Centre

Fairport Convention will play at the John Peel Centre in Stowmarket in May. Picture: CHARLIE BRYAN

Fairport Convention will play at the John Peel Centre in Stowmarket in May. Picture: CHARLIE BRYAN - Credit: Charlie Bryan

The John Peel Centre in Stowmarket is to host one of the UK’s most famous and influential folk rock bands at a one-off gig in May.

The John Peel Centre in Stowmarket. PICTURE: RACHEL EDGE

The John Peel Centre in Stowmarket. PICTURE: RACHEL EDGE - Credit: RACHEL EDGE

Fairport Convention will appear at the venue on Saturday May 9 as part of the band's Spring Tour.

Since forming in London in the mid-1960s the band have been a leading light in English folk rock.

They have been recognised with a BBC Lifetime Achievement Award and Radio 2 listeners voted their ground-breaking 1969 album Liege & Lief 'The Most Influential Folk Album of All Time'.

Their story has been celebrated with television documentaries on BBC Four and Sky Arts.

Radio presenter John Peel. Picture: YUI MOK/PA

Radio presenter John Peel. Picture: YUI MOK/PA - Credit: PA


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The band features founding member Simon Nicol on guitar and vocals, Dave Pegg on bass guitar, Ric Sanders on violin, Chris Leslie on fiddle, mandolin and vocals, and Gerry Conway on percussion.

John Peel Centre director Andrew Stringer said the venue was delighted: "It's a major coup for us. Fairport Convention were pivotal in the English folk rock scene and were really promoted by John Peel.

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"It's another milestone for us to have such a band. They are a group that play at and host major festivals, and they are coming here to Stowmarket.

"They were looking to play at a smaller venue that had social capital rather than just do another gig - the word is now out there that the John Peel Centre is a place to play.

Andrew Stringer Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Andrew Stringer Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN - Credit: Archant

"It also fulfills our brief of bringing high quality entertainment to rural Suffolk."

The John Peel Centre in Church Walk is an arts and music centre which opened as a tribute and legacy to the popular Radio 1 DJ, who lived locally, following his death in 2004.

Since then it has grown in stature, notably hosting seminal New Wave band The Undertones - who John Peel famously championed - in a special gig to mark what would have been his 80th birthday last August.

The centre is currently in negotiation with Mid Suffolk District Council over plans to expand into the adjoining former NatWest bank, which has been empty since the branch closed in 2017.

Tickets for the Fairport Convention gig are £25 and are available via the John Peel Centre website.

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