It was a lonely furrow to plough, being the only boy at school who'd heard of Fairport Convention's Liege and Lief LP and the soul-searing doom and gloom of Richard and Linda Thompson (so nourishing for a good dose of adolescent angst!), when everyone else's listening was confined to Slade, Led Zeppelin and Donny Osmond. How things change: suddenly it's cool to talk about Liege and Lief in more than a whisper. Trendy young bands like the Eighteenth Day of May openly acknowledge their debt to it; and it has been voted Most Influential Folk Album of All Time. Well, joy of joys, the classic line-up of Fairport is reuniting for the first time since 1969 for the Folk Awards - with singer Chris While standing in for the late Sandy Denny. And what's more, their lead guitarist, Richard Thompson, is up for a Lifetime Achievement Award. Other nominated veterans of the folk scene include John Tarns (above) and Kate Rusby, while the top tip for the Horizon Award (ie, she's young and she's hot) is Scots Gaelic singer Julie Fowlis. (Richard Partridge)
Asian beats and f lavas.
Ras Kwame champions new acts.
Trevor Nelson with guest Ursula Rucker.
James King with film reviews and features.