Fairport breaking with Convention at Alban Arena

FAIRPORT Convention return to the Alban Arena next week as part of their annual winter tour.

The concert will not only include brand-new songs from the studio album Festival Bell but will also feature a performance of Babbacombe Lee, the band’s 1971 folk-rock concept album.

Released to coincide with the tour, Festival Bell is the first new Fairport album for four years and the concert at the Arena will feature a selection from its 14 tracks which include two songs by Ralph McTell and a reworking of the Sandy Denny classic Rising For The Moon.

The concert will open with a set from duo Katriona Gilmore and Jamie Roberts before Fairport take the stage to celebrate the 40th anniversary of Babbacombe Lee by performing the critically-acclaimed folk-rock opera in its entirety.

Said lead vocalist and guitarist Simon Nicol: “We’ve played in St Albans before but we always enjoy coming back here. In fact the Alban Arena is one of our favourite venues.”

The concert begins at 7.30pm and tickets at �19 are available from the Arena box office on 01727 844488 or online at www.alban-arena.co.uk

Comedian Stephen K Amos is appearing at the Arena on two evenings next weekend.

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Following last year’s successful UK tour, where he played to 60,000 people, he is back with his melt-in-the-middle comedy which is designed to cheer up the audience and prove that laughter really is the best medicine.

Amos has entertained audiences all over the world and become a household name in the last few years, appearing regularly on such shows as The One Show, The Wright Stuff, Have I Got News For You, Mock the Week and Stand Up for the Week.

His own Channel 4 documentary Batty Man was nominated for a BAFTA and made it to the finals of Last Comic Standing.

He has also developed a keen interest in food and cookery following his contribution to Celebrity Masterchef and Saturday Kitchen.

He is appearing at 8pm next Saturday and Sunday, February 26 and 27, and tickets are �18.50.

n Tickets for Paul Carrack, who is coming to the Arena next Friday, February 25, have sold out.