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Category:    Home > Reviews > Concert > Folk > British > Tony Palmer – Fairport Convention & Matthews Southern Comfort (MVD/Voiceprint DVD)

Tony Palmer – Fairport Convention & Matthews Southern Comfort (MVD/Voiceprint DVD)


Picture: C     Sound: C     Extras: C-     Concert: C



The belated DVD release of Tony Palmer’s films have been as interesting at times as those of Peter Watkins, pointing towards long overdue recognition for some very talented, underrated British filmmakers and in the case of Fairport Convention & Matthews Southern Comfort (1970) a unique compilation of performances that have the common denominator of Iain Matthews as a member.  Comfort even had a Top 30 hit covering Joni Mitchell’s classic Woodstock in 1971.


Fairport was the first band, founded in 1967, a counterculture folk band who sometimes added non-Folk instruments and even had the formidable Richard Thompson and Nick Drake as original members.  Matthews is not here with Fairport, but is here with his second band.  The tracks here are as follows:


Fairport Convention (first section)


1)     Various Jigs & Reels

2)     Sir Patrick Spense

3)     Now Be Thankful


Matthews Southern Comfort


1)     My Front Pages

2)     Southern Comfort


Fairport Convention (first section)


1)     Flatback Caper

2)     Jenny’s Chicken & The Mason’s Apron



Historically important, the performances are not bad, unless a little of this type of music goes a long way for you, but the energy is there and Palmer once again shows his knack for capturing his subject.  I just thought it was too short, but if you are interested, you will not be disappointed.


The anamorphically enhanced 1.85 X 1 image comes from a video master that has softness and detail issues throughout, some color bleeding and haloing is also here.  What happened?  Is this the only way these survived?  The Dolby Digital 2.0 is sadly flat and monophonic.  The only extra is an interview with Palmer by John Peel.


For more of Palmer’s work, both of which I enjoyed more, try these links:


All My Lovin’ (The Beatles)



Space Movie




-   Nicholas Sheffo

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