Treasure chest
Gone a little quiet

Liege and lief ends an era

As readers of my other sites - Salut! and Salut! Sunderland - already know, I am about to leave France after more than three years and, following a brief return to the UK, head off to a new job in the Middle East.

Somehow, and don't ask me too closely about the how syllable of that word, I intend to keep all three sites alive.

But the new adventure provides a natural opportunity for me to bring a modest era of folk music journalism to an end.

My review in today's Daily Telegraph of Fairport Convention's Liege and Lief Deluxe Edition, digitally remastered from the original 40-year-old recording accompanied, is the last I propose to write for that newspaper.Liegeandlief

There was to have been one more review, Banda Celtamericana. This is a respectable fusion of Chilean panpipes and Irish music and I would have given it a positive enough write-up despite the ghastly title.

But read my Liege and Lief review here and you will see why, after hearing the wonders of Sandy Denny and the band made more wonderful still by state-of-the-art technology, I felt it would be an anti-climax to sign off with anything else.

I have enjoyed being the Telegraph's folk critic for around 20 years. It has given me great access to the music I love and the people who make it, throughout the British Isles, in Brittany and Nova Scotia. It has also brought me pile after pile of CDs.

Who knows? I may one day pop up reviewing music, and writing about performers, elsewhere. But it is well enough known that the Telegraph fired me unceremoniously last year in a night of the long knives that saw off a batch of foreign correspondents.

Flattered as it was to be asked by valued colleagues to continue folk reviews, it might have been better to cut all links then. Now, a year on and with a new challenge to face, there is no serious alternative.

But for as long as there seems some point in writing on the subject here, it is my hope that Salut! Live will not only survive but grow stronger.

* Check out Jef Aerosol's art here


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