I write this with a touch of nostalgia, happy memories and a little sadness too. Having links with North East band LINDISFARNE for many years (in a precious life), I really can’t believe the guys are celebrating their 50th anniversary. A festive tradition in Newcastle is that Lindisfarne play the City Hall to a packed house. The reason these have continued for so many years is that the band are simply top-notch live. If you haven’t seen them before, we guarantee you’ll come out having had a great night.

Now we’re obviously not suggesting you make the trek up to Newcastle, as lovely a place as it is, it’s far easier if the band come to us and that’s exactly what they’re doing in march. LINDISFARNE return to form with a classic five-piece line up of long-time members fronted by original founder-member Rod Clements on vocals, mandolin, fiddle and slide guitar. The full line up looks like this.

ROD CLEMENTS (1969-present) Vocal, mandolin, fiddle, guitars
DAVE HULL-DENHOLM (1994-present) Vocal, guitars
STEVE DAGGETT (1986-present) Vocal, keyboards, guitars
IAN THOMSON (1995-present) Bass, vocal
PAUL THOMPSON (ex-Roxy Music) Drums

I’m actually a little bit in awe of the fact that Paul Thompson is now playing drums with them. As any Roxy Music fan will tell you, Paul was always the man in that band. He’s the one bottom right in the Roxy pic.

With a repertoire of unforgettable songs like Meet Me On The Corner, Fog On The Tyne, Lady Eleanor and Run For Home and a reputation for live performance second to none, Lindisfarne’s power to galvanise festival and concert audiences remains undimmed and is guaranteed to get the crowd on its feet and singing along. Here’s a live version of their massive hit Run For Home and you’ll see what we mean.

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Of course, the most famous, and heard mandolin solo is thanks to LINDISFARNE, well, in-particular long time member Ray Jackson. He played the mandolin solo on “Maggie May,” as well as on “Mandolin Wind,” both songs on Rod Stewart’s 1971 “Every Picture Tells A Story” album.

There was a long time when no one knew who played that solo and Rod didn’t really share the information either. On another occasion we’ll tell you what Ray say’s about this, maybe you’ll need to ply me with a glass of Irn-Bru first.

I did say I write this with a touch of sadness. One of the members of LINDISFARNE, Alan Hull died in 1995, but the surviving members continued to use the name. 10 years later 2005 friends and colleagues of Alan held a memorial concert at Newcastle City Hall and included Alan Clark, Brendan Healy, Tim Healy, Ian McCallum, The Motorettes, Jimmy Nail, Tom Pickard, Prelude, Paul Smith and Kathryn Tickell. Proceeds from the concert were donated to The North East Young Musicians Fund.

Alan Hull

On 19 July 2012, following a public campaign led by Lindisfarne’s former manager from the 1970s, Barry McKay, an Alan Hull memorial plaque was unveiled on the front of Newcastle City Hall, at a ceremony attended by hundreds of fans.

So as you can see the guys have much to celebrate on this 50th Anniversary Tour. LINDISFARNE get to the Grand Pavilion in Porthcawl on Friday 20th march at 7:30pm. Tickets are £25 and we promise you it’ll be the best Friday night party you’ll have been to in ages. To get yours, go here. LINDISFARNE

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