> Danny Spooner > Records > Canterbury Fair

Canterbury Fair

Canterbury Fair (Anthology AR 001)

Canterbury Fair
Canterbury Fair

Anthology Records AR 001 (LP, Australia, 1977)
Klarion Enterprises SF 298 (LP, Australia, 1977)

Recording and sleeve notes by Ian J. Ball;
Edited and mastered by Klarion Enterprises;
Photographs by Dave Ahrens


Danny Spooner, Bernice O’Leary, Duncan Brown, Cris Larner, John O’Leary, Leigh Peatt, Jamie Johnston, Marnay Gatehouse, Tony Martin, Lis Johnston


Side 1

  1. Bartholomew Fair (2.33)
  2. Fhir a’ Bhata (Roud 4356; Henry H834) (6.05)
  3. Hey John Barleycorn (Roud 2141) (4.03)
  4. The Weary Whaling Grounds (Roud 2011) (2.30)
  5. The Bell Ringing (Roud 1515) (4.09)
  6. Jolly Old Hawk (Roud 1048) (1.46)
  7. The Bells of Rhymney (2.17)

Side 2

  1. The Tunnel Tigers (2.31)
  2. The Eynsham Poaching Song (Roud 1268) (2.15)
  3. The Lancashire Lads (Roud 588; G/D 1:89) (2.44)
  4. The Agincourt Song (Roud V29347) (4.34)
  5. Jolly Good Ale and Old (Roud 1573) (2.57)
  6. The False Young Man (Roud 419; Henry H593) (2.57)
  7. The Trooper and the Maid (Roud 162; Child 299; G/D 7:1470) (4.27)
  8. Dona Nobis Pacem (1.45)

All tracks trad. except
Track 3 Joseph Bryan Geoghegan;
Track 7 words Idris Davies, music Pete Seeger;
Track 8 Ewan MacColl

Sleeve Notes

There is no doubt that the best way to hear Folk Music (or any other music if if comes to that) is at a live performance. Unfortunately, some people can not always be heard in public. Canterbury Fair is one such group. I had known most of them foe a couple of years before hearing them sing. After that I took to following them around (complete with cassette recorder) whenever possible.

The group first appeared in public about seven years ago, at the Open Stage, in Bouverie Street, Carlton, for a lecture/workshop on “History Through Folksong”. Since then, they have appeared at lectures, concerts, workshops and in radio and television programmes—usually illustrating historical themes with readings and folksong—and have shown themselves to be talented in may ways, apart from their singing. The last notable occasion was a workshop entitles “Sailors and their Ladies” which was given at the Adelaide Folk Festival last Easter (1977).

Because of the time taken in gathering the material for this type of performance, and the family and work commitments of most members of the group, it is unfortunately rare tor them all to be able to get together for live appearances.

So here, to fill e long felt want, is this record. A new venture for everybody, including the recording engineer. For ten singers (count them) to be assembled for a series of rehearsals and recording sessions, finding times when nobody‘s cold was too bad. was a feat in itself. A problem in logistics, with complications, such as late classes, overtime, baby-sitters, unreliable motor cars, and in one case an inclination to treat John Barleycorn with rather less respect than he deserves. The fact that we are all still on speaking terms is probably a tribute to the sterling character of all concerned.

This, then is Canterbury Fair—spelt with or without the final ‘e’, according to taste. Known also, with varying degrees of affection. as Canterbury Circus, or the Spooner Super Group.. Mysteriously famous on the Melbourne folk scene though seldom actually heard. We hope you enjoy the record.