Ahead of folk music legends Fairport Convention coming to Harpenden next month, bassist Dave Pegg spoke exclusively to the Herts Ad about the band's near 60-year career.

The band will take to the stage at The Eric Morecambe Centre on Thursday, February 8, with the show starting at 7.30pm and tickets costing £30.

Fairport have played in the town before, and Dave is looking forward to returning, not just to the venue, but also to Hertfordshire, a county that the band called home in the 1970s.

"It’s our third time going to The Eric Morecambe Centre," he told our reporter, Dan Mountney.

"We used to do it at the Alban Arena, but when it was shut down for a couple of years we were moved to Harpenden, and it’s such a lovely building so we’ve stayed there ever since.

"Fairport all used to live in a disused pub in Little Hadham during the 1970s, a place called The Angel, so we’ve got a connection with the area. We still get people for that neck of the woods who come to see us."

The show is part of Fairport Convention's Wintour 2024, something that has become tradition for the group.

"We do this winter tour every year and we’ve been doing it for more than 50 years," Dave said.

"People ask why we do it in the winter, and that’s because it was originally much cheaper to hire crews and trucks and things, and now it’s become a tradition."

READ MORE: Friends TV scripts found in bin sell for £22k as bidders 'went crazy'

Herts Advertiser: Dave Pegg has been with Fairport Convention since 1970.Dave Pegg has been with Fairport Convention since 1970. (Image: Newsquest)

Fairport Convention were founded in 1967, and although they never achieved mainstream commercial success, the band are widely regarded as legends of the folk music scene.

Dave believes that longevity can be credited to the group's loyal fanbase, as well as doing things a little differently.

"I missed the first couple of years, I thought I’d wait until they made it until I joined," Dave joked. 

"I joined in 1970 and have been with them ever since.

"I’ve always been so proud of Fairport. We started our own record label, having nothing to do with the record business, and we became our own institution.

"We have our own festival, the Fairport's Cropredy Convention, which has been going since the 1970s and we get up to 20,000 people there.

"None of the big labels were really that interested in us, and we became one of the first bands in the UK to have our own label. We never gained any great success in terms of selling albums and singles.

"One of the reasons we’re still able to do all that is we’re very lucky to have such a loyal audience."

And Fairport's music still stands the test of time.

One of the band's most popular hits, 1969's 'Who Knows Where the Time Goes?', remains near the top of the folk music charts to this day, with Dave admitting it's his favourite song to perform on stage.

"There’s a song that Sandy Denny wrote called ‘Who Knows Where the Time Goes?’," he explained.

"My granddaughter, who is at university and plays the guitar, emailed me the other day and said ‘I’ve looked at the folk music download chart, and Who Knows Where the Time Goes? is second on the list, just behind a Bob Dylan song’. That is just so amazing.

"Sandy was a fantastic singer and a great friend, and we miss her dearly. We never replaced her we didn’t think anyone could.

"That song is still in our repertoire, and we don’t play it ever night, but when we do, it’s great for me to play. I really love it. 

"When we play in Harpenden, we’ll have fairly new songs, including one written by Chris Leslie. We do old favourites and all the old stuff as well."