Cropredy and Fairport's 40th! It was the biggest and best Cropredy Convention ever, a total sell-out with a capacity crowd of over 30,000. What a weekend, Julie & I booked our tickets months ago. I can hardly believe that the first time I saw Fairport Convention was way back in '68 when I was 14 years old! The thought of seeing the 1967 Liege & Lief line-up of Simon, DM, Richard Thompson, Peggy, Swarb, Ashley Hutchings and (Chris While standing in for) Sandy Denny was an irresistible prospect. Three days of great music of different genres, from the polished, mellow Wishbone Ash to Show of Hands, Viva Santana, Jools Holland with Ruby Turner & Lulu and Kerfuffle just to name a few. The weather was glorious, as it often is at Cropredy and the festival was great! We met up with Morven & Brian who came for the Saturday gig, Fairport really excelled in their "Friends" set. They played for over four hours. Jerry Donahue and Richard Thompsom's guitars were simply wonderful, as was Swarb's Hendrix-like fiddle on "Matty". Ric Sanders was his usual self! What a night to finish off the festival. Just an ace three days. Can't wait for next year and Cropredy 2008. We even bought a new tipi for Cropredy! Julie and I had a couple of hours to kill in Ipswich on the previous Saturday, and ended up following some road signs to a tent show. We saw this tipi on sale for £60! Perfect for Croppers, I wasn't too happy about taking the real tipi (Korta!) in case anything happened to it, so this was a bargain I could not resist. We didn't expect a lot from this tent, but it is surprisingly good! Plenty of pegging points, sewn-in groundsheet, good ventilation and easy to erect, it is very spacious inside. It got loads of comments from others in the field, probably because the "Eurohike" logo was lost in the pattern on the fabric! There was a canvas yurt near us complete with wood-burner, which I really liked, but can't really justify another tent! The four of us met up again on Sunday and went for a walk along the canal towpath before returning to Cropredy and a few pints in the Brasenose. Morven & Brian then left for home so Julie & I stayed around to watch some of the traditional Fairport cricket match. The cricket club car park seemed to host a galaxy of '60's folk-rock stars. A bit like the Perseid Shower in daylight!
I decided to take only the Ricoh GR-D because I didn't want to be worrying about theives. Cropredy is probably the friendliest and least troublesome festival, but expensive camera gear would be a target for some. Here's a few shots. This is the first time I have used the GR-D at 1600 asa and I have to say I am impressed with the noise structure at this high value from such a small sensor. As I have said before on my blog, the files from this camera do need some work to get the best from them, but it is worth persevering. I left the 21mm converter set at home so that the camera was safe in my pocket. We were quite close to the front of the crowd and I was shooting one-handed with the camera above the heads of the people in front. 1600 asa and aperture priority set to f4.