Fairy Light Nights is the collective term for a large number of acoustic gigs performed by All About Eve between January 2000 and February 2002. The name stems from the fact that fairy lights were hung from the music and microphone stands. Two live albums were released during this time, one as Fairy Light Nights in 2000 (sometimes referred to as Fairy Light Nights 1) and Fairy Light Nights 2 one year later. Both these albums were released to together as Acoustic Nights in 2003.
For an All About Eve concert to be termed a "Fairy Light Night" it would have featured a simple line-up of Julianne Regan on vocals, Marty Willson-Piper on a variety of acoustic guitars and Andy Cousin on electric bass or acoustic 12-string guitar. That is not to say that there wasn't the occasional guest appearance, however.
In late 1999 All About Eve played three fully electric reunion concerts in support of The Mission. During this time Marty Willson-Piper persuaded Julianne Regan to keep the group going and do a few acoustic gigs. The original reasons for choosing acoustic gigs were varied but included Marty's previous experience of doing them himself, cost, and the fact that they had no
The first gigs were extremely well received and an amazing thing happened: All About Eve achieved comeback status, not by releasing a comeback album, but by simple word of mouth (and Internet). Little by little the fans that had, in 1990, been sufficient in number to fill the Royal Albert Hall started to re-appear and come to these gigs. Within six months they had released Fairy Light Nights, an album of performances taken from various gigs, and a year later demand was such that there was also ample market for Fairy Light Nights 2, which contained the regular songs from these gigs that were not on the first album.
At the beginning of the Fairy Light Nights period All About Eve were practically testing the water to see if there was a point to staying re-formed. By the end of it they were officially and unarguably back.
Some shows, particularly the Penzance ones, were widely regarded to be fantastic. Others such as the one in Worthing (where half the equipment failed, effectively preventing Marty from playing) were disasters. Generally however, the band was well-received and the quality excellent.
All About Eve played some fully electric dates during this time, which do not technically count as Fairy Light Nights but were equally special and memorable nonetheless. There was the memorable (for the wrong reasons) time at The Garage, Islington in 2000 when Julianne lost her temper with some disruptive members of the audience, then there was the performance at 2000's Cropredy Festival when fans had to sit through two hours of the Incredible String Band before All About Eve finally came on.
Of all the eclectic shows during this period however, the two concerts at the Union Chapel (one in December 2000, and one a year later) that have gone down in memory with the most regard. See Live and Electric at the Union Chapel for more details.
The last Fairy Light Night was in Crewe on 3 February 2002. This was also the last All About Eve concert to feature Marty Willson-Piper, who would leave the band citing musical differences immediately after. He was replaced in time for the band's concerts in the spring of that year by a Finn, Toni Haimi, lately of bands such as Nozzle (band) and Malluka. By the time they hit the road again in May, the gigs were fully electric.
No new All About Eve songs were premiered during any Fairy Light Night, however three songs by Marty Willson-Piper (and already existing on his solo albums) were performed, these being "Forever", "You Bring Your Love to Me" and "Will I Start To Bleed?" None of these have been performed as All About Eve songs since Marty's departure, however.
"Miss World" was previously a Mice song but this has been performed as an All About Eve song since.
Almafame went bankrupt shortly after the issue of Fairy Light Nights 1 (which is why the second album is on JamTart, the band's own label). Out of the somewhat murky dealings that followed came two records of disputed legality and without the band's permission called Unplugged and Martha's Harbour. Both are identical copies of Fairy Light Nights 1.
This is a JamTart re-release of both Fairy Light Nights albums. It is legal and approved by the band, although it contains nothing not already in both albums separately.
Travel Christmas Shopping: Beware Death by Fairy Light Want to See Christmas to Dazzling Effect? Visit the Suburbs of Brooklyn and Long Island, Land of Illuminated Elves and Muppets
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