Fotheringay was an English folk-rock band that released a self-titled album on Island in 1970. The following year, thet recorded a second album that was ultimately issued by archivists  Fledg’ling in 2008. The band featured ex-Fairport Convention vocalist Sandy Denny immediately prior to the launch of her solo career.

Members: Sandy Denny (vocals), Trevor Lucas (guitar), Gerry Conway (drums), Jerry Donahue (guitar), Pat Donaldson (bass)


Sandy Denny formed Fotheringay after a one-year stint with Fairport Convention. She enlisted two recent members of Eclection (guitarist Trevor Lucas and drummer Gerry Conway) and two members of Poet and the One Man Band (guitarist Jerry Donahue and bassist Pat Donaldson). 

Lucas migrated to England from Australia and made the 1964–65 folk albums See That My Grave Is Kept Clean and Overlander. In London, he formed Eclection: a multi-national folk-rock band with Englishman Conway and members from Norway (guitarist Georg Hultgreen), Canada (guitarist–trumpeter Michael Rosen), and a fellow Australian, singer Kerrilee Male. They recorded one self-titled album in 1968 on Elektra.

Donahue started in the duo Dek & Jerry with co-writer Dek Messecar. Their one single, “What’s The Matter With Me” (b/w “Don’t Waste Your Time”), appeared in 1966 on Philips. He linked with Donaldson (recently of Dantalian’s Chariot) in Poet and the One Man Band, a folk-rock vehicle for songwriters Tony Colton and Ray Smith. They made one self-titled album on Verve Forecast and cut a vaulted second, then morphed (without Donahue and Donaldson) into Heads Hands & Feet.

Denny first recorded for Saga Records with singers Alex Campbell and Johnny Silvo. In 1968, she cut an album with a formative lineup of Strawbs (unreleased until 1973) and joined Fairport Convention after their original female vocalist, Judy Dyble, joined a post-album Giles Giles & Fripp (and ultimately formed Trader Horne). In her year with Fairport, she fronted their second-through-fourth albums: What We Did on Our Holidays, Unhalfbricking, and Liege & Lief — all released in 1969.

She named her new band after the song “Fotheringay,” her songwriting contribution to What We Did on Our Holidays. The song itself concerns Fotheringhay Castle, a Medieval Norman Motte-and-bailey castle in Fotheringhay village in Northamptonshire. Built around 1100 AD, Fotheringhay was the birthplace of King Richard III (1452–1485) and the imprisonment and execution site of Mary, Queen of Scots (1542–1587). Fotheringhay was dismantled in the 1630s.


Fotheringay released their self-titled debut album in June 1970 on Island (UK) and A&M (US).

1. “Nothing More” Sandy Denny (4:37)
2. “The Sea” Denny (5:32)
3. “The Ballad of Ned Kelly” Trevor Lucas (3:34)
4. “Winter Winds” Denny (2:13)
5. “Peace in the End” Denny, Lucas (4:02)

6. “The Way I Feel” Gordon Lightfoot (4:46)
7. “The Pond and the Stream” Denny (3:20)
8. “Too Much of Nothing” Bob Dylan (3:55)
9. “Banks of the Nile” Traditional (8:04)

Recorded February – April 1970
Studio Sound Techniques, London
Producer Joe Boyd
Recording engineer: Jerry Boys, Todd Lloyd
Art direction: cover illustrations by Marion Appleton
Photography: gatefold image by Tony Evans

Sandy Denny – guitar, piano, vocals
Trevor Lucas – guitar, vocals
Jerry Donahue – lead guitar, vocals
Pat Donaldson – bass, vocals
Gerry Conway – drums
Linda Pettifer – vocals
Todd Lloyd – vocals

“Peace in the End” / “Winter Winds”
Released: 1970, Island WIP 6085
“The Way I Feel”
Released: 1971, A&M Records (Canada) AMX 311 W


Fotheringay disbanded in January 1971.


(2008, released 1971)

1. “John the Gun” (Sandy Denny) (5.07) Denny recut this song for her debut solo album.
2. “Eppie Moray” – 4.45
3. “Wild Mountain Thyme” – 3.51
4. “Knights of the Road” (Trevor Lucas, Pete Roach) (4.10) Lucas and Donahue recut this song for the 1973 Fairport release Rosie.
5. “Late November” (Sandy Denny) – 4.40
6. “Restless” (Trevor Lucas, Pete Roach) – 2.48
7. “Gypsy Davey” – 3.42
8. “I Don’t Believe You” (Bob Dylan) – 4.45
9. “Silver Threads and Golden Needles” (Dick Reynolds, Jack Rhodes) – 4.30
10. “Bold Jack Donahue” – 7.38
11. “Two Weeks Last Summer” (Dave Cousins) – 3.51

Sandy Denny – guitar, piano, vocals
Trevor Lucas – guitar, vocals
Jerry Donahue – guitar, vocals
Pat Donaldson – bass, vocals
Gerry Conway – drums

Sam Donahue – saxophone
Wendy Righart Van Gelder – backing vocals
John “Rabbit” Bundrick – organ

Producer: Jerry Donahue
Engineers: John Wood, Jerry Boys, Scott Whitley, Henno Althoff, Justin Fox, Richard Barron, Jerry Donahue

Essen 1970

In 1972, Donahue and Lucas joined Fairport Convention, where they replaced co-founder Simon Nicol. They played on the 1973 albums Rosie (which features Conway on three tracks) and Nine. In 1974, Denny rejoined Fairport for an international tour that produced the multi-concert document Fairport Live Convention. With Fairport’s Dave Pegg and Dave Mattacks, they made the 1975 studio album Rising for the Moon, which some fans credit to “Fotheringay Convention” due to the presence of three Fotheringay members but no original Fairport members.

In 1975, Lucas and Denny (by now a married couple) left Fairport to work on her 1977 fourth solo album Rendezvous. Sandy Denny died on April 21, 1978, from a brain hemorrhage incurred from a fall down her home stairway.


  • Fotheringay (1970)
  • 2 (2008, released 1971)


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