Lindisfarne The reunion for Christmas Newcastle City Hall 1976 and 1977

Lindisfarne The reunion for Christmas Newcastle City Hall 1976 and 1977
lindisfarnetix76 You can’t keep a good Geordie down for long. We’d just recovered from the farewell concert of 1975, when rumours surfaced that our local heroes might be minded to come back for a special concert at the City Hall for Christmas. And so it was that the original line-up of Ray Jackson/Alan Hull/Ray Laidlaw/Rod Clements and Si Cowe reformed in 1976 to perform a one-off gig in Newcastle City Hall. lindisfarneprog76
The gig sold out immediately and was massively over subscribed, so much so that a second date was added. And that sold out too, so an early show was added on the second night. The Newcastle City Hall reunion shows were so acclaimed that the band repeated it and we were all back a year later in 1977. These shows, and those that followed in Christmas 1978 and 1979 featured local talent such as The Killingworth Sword Dancers, and Mike The Mouth Elliott as Santa. Rab Noakes popped up now and then and I think Chris Rea was support once or twice (or maybe that was in the early 80s?). These concerts were joyous, raucous celebrations of Geordiness. Lindisfarne were truly back, and seemed so pleased to return to the City Hall stage. There was a camaraderie, honesty and spirit about the band in those days. Their singalong, often somewhat ramshackle, folk rock guaranteed a great night out, and the Geordie lads seemed ready to take on the world.
lindisfarnetix77 The Christmas shows would continue for many years to come, but somewhere along the way the spirit started to dim as the years went on. These shows in 1976 and 1977 were Lindisfarne at the very best. It was like going to the pub, having a drink or two too many, and singing along with friends. Never to be matched.
Setlist from 1976 concert: No Time To Lose; All Right On The Night; Turn A Deaf Ear; Uncle Sam; Down; Road To Kingdom Come; Scotch Mist; Winter Song; January Song; Lady Eleanor; Court In The Act; Wake Up Little Sister; Train In G Major; Alan In The River With Flowers; Together Forever; Meet Me On The Corner; We Can Swing Together; Jackhammer Blues; Fog On The Tyne. Encore: Clear White Light; White Christmas.
lindisfarneprog77 For me the highlight was always the Winter song, with Alan standing centre stage alone with his acoustic guitar singing. “When winter’s shadowy fingers, First pursue you down the street, And your boots no longer lie, About the cold around your feet, Do you spare a thought for summer whose passage is complete?
Whose memories lie in ruins, And whose ruins lie in heat? When winter… Comes howling in.
When the wind is singing strangely, Blowing music through your head, And your rain splattered windows, Make you decide to stay in bed, Do you spare a thought for the homeless tramp who wishes he was dead? Or do you pull the bed-clothes higher, Dream of summertime instead? When winter…Comes howling in” (Hull, 1970).
Pure Magic.

One response to this post.

  1. Posted by David Atkinson on September 19, 2013 at 6:44 am

    ‘Winter Song’ is fantastic. And to think that today, the music journos only have time for Richard Thompson. Good though he is, he ain’t no Alan Hull.

    Those concerts were great nights out. Lovely memories.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: