Alistair - you mentioned Fairport a few posts earlier. I saw them a few years back and was sitting in the second row at the Derby Assembly Rooms. They were doing 'The Wounded Whale' - a big production number. Now, I could swear that Simon Nicol was miming his guitar... I might be wrong, and if so, I apologise to him profusely. (I'm a big fan of his playing, I should add.) But I've been playing guitar for twenty years and it certainly looked like it.
If I was right, then surely that was a prime case of over production. In any event, quite apart from the guitar part, when a 'folk'-rock band has to have a Macintosh on stage to handle part of the production, I can't help thinking it's gone over the top.
All that said, last time I saw them, after Chris Leslie had come in to replace Maart, they did seem to have stripped out some of the more intricate stuff, and to my mind it was a big improvement.