The Lady: A Homage to Sandy Denny, a tour commemorating her songwriting legacy, began in Liverpool last night.
Sandy Denny died in 1978 at the age of 31. The tour website suggests that
In the years since her death, Sandy has emerged as one of the UK 's greatest singer-songwriters.This is slightly clumsy, and I wonder if it is even true. While the songs of Nick Drake, who was once the acme of undeserved obscurity, are heard so often as backing music on BBC programmes that you are tempted to groan, Denny remains something of a cult figure.
Maybe this tour will do something to put this right. The website says:
This special tour celebrates her legacy for a new generation and showcases for the first time her entire songbook taking in her work with Fairport Convention, Fotheringay, her solo career and the new songs completed by Thea Gilmore on her acclaimed album ‘Don’t Stop Singing’.
Thea will join a unique line up of artists including former colleagues and friends Dave Swarbrick, Maddy Prior, and Jerry Donahue, alongside Joan Wasser (aka Joan As Police Woman), Green Gartside, PP Arnold and young admirers including Lavinia Blackwall (Trembling Bells), Sam Carter, Blair Dunlop (The Albion Band), Ben Nicholls, and other guests. Together with members of Bellowhead, who form the core of a house ‘super group’, they create this unique, adventurous homage to the artist described by Richard Thompson as ‘the greatest British female artist of her generation’.Sandy Denny has featured here twice before. Solo was the second Sunday music video I ever chose and two years ago I picked Bushes and Briars.
'Fotheringay' deals with the imprisonment and execution of Mary Queen of Scots at the Northamptonshire village of the same name. It is a place I have long wanted to visit: the castle where she was held has long since vanished, but the church looks spectacular.
This track also gave its name to the band that Denny formed with her husband Trevor Lucas.
I have chosen a demo of 'Fotheringay' by Sandy Denny alone, but I do like the instrumental arrangement on the finished version too.