‘Fairport Convention are the biggest boughs on the folk-rock family tree. Heylin delineates a tangled web of lineup changes, drunken nights and splinter groups with clarity. WWDIOH gives some fascinating insights from the engine room of England’s most innovative outfits, spanning the 15-year period that covers the birth of Fairport to the breakup of Richard and Linda Thompson in 1982.’ – Record Collector

‘Bursting with first-hand interviews and meticulous research, making for what is undoubtedly the fullest account yet to appear of both the band and the hugely influential musicians who have passed through its ranks.’ – Rock N Reel

‘Given the number of books that have been written about the various members of Fairport Convention and the band itself, you might be forgiven for thinking that there’s very little left to say about them; but you’d be wrong, as Clinton Heylin’s excellent new book What We Did Instead of Holidays shows. What makes this different from other histories of Fairport Convention and its many members is that Heylin’s book sets out to chart what happened with the various founder members, and members of the early band line ups, when they went their separate ways. This is an excellent history of a band and its members that did much to craft a uniquely British sound in rock music. I would recommend it to any serious student of contemporary music. It’s also a thoroughly entertaining read.’ – Americana UK

‘Clinton Heylin’s a skilled music writer. The writing is cognisant and informed, [he] gets matters right and amplifies the story just enough to reel in the merely curious as well as seasoned watchers seeking a little more understanding. This is the story of the folk-rock motorway and its A-road exits.’ – fRoots

‘The chief sell of What We Did Instead of Holidays is to amalgamate the primary threads of all those different lives and careers into a well-told, well-paced whole that carries the story from the mid-60s beginnings through to tumultuous divorce tour of Richard and Linda Thompson in 1982… It’s very well told – Heylin is a past master at this kind of tale – and it’s a remarkable story, warts and all.’ – Songlines

‘Fairport fans have been well-served with box sets, reissues and books during the past decade, so much so that the arrival of this new chronicle seems at first glance redundant. That is until you realise that as well as the main narrative surrounding 51 years of “The English Grateful Dead”, that the book also tackles Fairport’s internecine off-shoots and myriad side projects; quite some task when you consider that by 1970, four of its original members had already left and dropped six albums between them that year alone. Clinton Heylin leaves no stone unturned in pulling together these mulitfarious strands, following the ever-evolving, shape-shifting Fairport through its highs and lows until the early 80s.’ – Shindig

‘A vivid, chronological picture of what one could actually call the Fairport family in its entirety. Euphoria, lethargy and grief are components of this story, but despite all the personal wounds, the survivors still rightly understand themselves as part of this unique family. Clinton Heylin’s great merit is to have worked out this illogical logic so clearly.’ Folker

‘This isn’t solely a history of the first dozen or so years of Fairport Convention, although they’re the core around which the text revolves. This also covers the numerous spin-off acts Fairport generated, including Steeleye Span, Matthews Southern Comfort, Trader Horne, Fotheringay, the Albion Country Band, and the solo careers of Sandy Denny, Richard Thompson, and Ian Matthews. This weaves the complicated story of Fairport and its offshoots together pretty well, and is better than the best other Fairport book, Fairport By Fairport.’ Richie Unterberger, Book of the Year

‘Candid, clear and cogent, presented with insight and chronologically, Clinton Heylin ties the loose threads of Fairport and its offshoots together in their own words. Diving deep beneath the surface of the music into the lives of the principals, he answers many un-asked questions.’ Simon Nicol, Fairport Convention co-founder & longest serving member

‘We were young and ambitious. Learning the game without a manual or safety net. No one was exempt. Clinton Heylin has absolutely nailed the way it was. I recognize myself in this story and realized some interesting things about my former band mates. An enthralling read for any Fairport fan.’ Iain Matthews, lead vocalist of Fairport Convention 1967-69