Songs of Sandy Denny at The Barbican BBC4 Friday November 9th at 22:05

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Songs of Sandy Denny at The Barbican BB4 Friday November 9th at 22:05
26th October 2012

This 90 minute tribute concert to the singer-songwriter spans her career with Fairport Convention, Fotheringay and as a solo artist. When Sandy Denny died in 1978 aged 31, she left behind a rich songbook and here an eclectic cast from the folk world and beyond set out to explore and reinterpret it.

Some of Sandy Denny’s finest recordings and song writing were celebrated on a sell-out UK tour in May this year entitled The Lady: A Homage to Sandy Denny. The concert at The Barbican in London was filmed by the BBC and is now being shown on BBC4.

This 90 minute tribute concert to the singer-songwriter spans her career with Fairport Convention, Fotheringay and as a solo artist. When Sandy Denny died in 1978 aged 31, she left behind a rich songbook and here an eclectic cast from the folk world and beyond set out to explore and reinterpret it.

English folk queen and Sandy contemporary, Maddy Prior, performs the menacing John the Gun and the courtly Fotheringay. Veteran Sandy cohorts are represented by Fotheringay and Fairport guitarist, Jerry Donahue and fiddler extraordinaire, Dave Swarbrick. Fine young troubadours Sam Carter and Blair Dunlop – son of Fairport’s Ashley Hutchings – show the tradition is in safe hands.

With a house band featuring members of Bellowhead, the line-up also includes former Scritti Politti singer Green Gartside, Joan Wasser aka ‘Joan as Policewoman’ (with a heartbreaking No More Sad Refrains), Trembling Bells singer Lavinia Blackwall and American soul singer PP Arnold (with a roof-raising Take Me Away), plus Thea Gilmore who was asked by Sandy’s estate to put some of her unset lyrics to music.

The performances on stage are interspersed with interviews and behind-the-scenes footage that shed light on how the concert came together, plus rare archive of Sandy Denny herself. This show is evidence that – even without the magic of Sandy’s singing voice – the songs still shine.

One week before (November 2nd), the BBC will be putting up a programme page online to accompany the broadcast. Amongst other things it will feature stills from the concert plus some of the song performances that could not fit into the edited programme.