The Lindisfarne Story Gala Theatre Durham 23 April 2022

lynd tix 2022It is almost a month since my last concert and I was feeling quite ready for another evening out. I decided a couple of months ago it was about time I caught up on the legendary Lindisfarne again. Well, as those of you who are fans will realise, there are in fact two versions of the band in operation at the moment. The first, which I went to see last night, is The Lindisfarne Story which features original drummer Ray Laidlaw and long-time friend of the band (and a member of offshoot Jack The Lad and sometimes a member of the later incarnations of Lindisfarne) singer and acoustic guitarist Billy Mitchell. The other version of Lindisfarne features bassist Rod Clements and a full band featuring various ex-members of later versions of the legendary band. I have tickets to see them in a couple of months time.

lynd flyer 2022The Lindisfarne Story, as the name suggests, features Ray and Billy telling the story of the band and singing acoustic versions of some of their better-known songs with Billy on vocals and guitar and Ray on bongos, drum box, and a small drum kit. On their current tour Ray and Billy are focusing on the 50th anniversary of the Fog on the Tyne album, telling the story of the band, that particular album and discussing, and playing, each track in consecutive order. The concert started at 7:30 PM prompt, the first half featuring side 1 of the album, followed by a short interval and a second-half taking us through side 2 of the album. The show is well presented using old video of the band to great effect and also clips of friends old and new such as local heroes Bruce Welch, Sting, Billy Nail and Sam Fender. The history behind each track, who wrote it and the lyrics is explained in some detail followed by a great rendition of each song. So they start with track 1 which is “Meet Me on the Corner” and carry on track by track. Many of the songs are well-known to me, others less so but I certainly learned a lot about the history of each track on this massively successful album. I had also forgotten just how successful the album was! Along the way they treat us to other Lindisfarne favourites such as “Lady Eleanor” and old blues songs, and 60s hits, which Billy Mitchell used to sing in a local band and in working men’s clubs such as “Needles and Pins” and “Hi Ho Silver Lining” (both of which got the crowd singing along; excellent!)

lynd 2 2022Some facts I found about the album, on Wikipedia:”Fog on the Tyne is a 1971 album by English rock band Lindisfarne. Bob Johnston produced the album, which was recorded at Trident Studios in Soho, London, in the mid-1971 and released in October that year on Charisma Records in the United Kingdom and Elektra Records in the U.S..

It gave the group their breakthrough in the UK, topping the album charts early in 1972 for four weeks and remaining on the chart for 56 weeks in total. “Meet Me on the Corner”, one of two songs written by bassist Rod Clements, reached No. 5 as a single. The title track became the band’s signature tune. Simon Cowe made his debut as a writer, contributing the song “Uncle Sam”.”

lynd cd 2022During the interval carer Jan and I treated ourselves to a drink from the bar and purchased 2 CDs, of 50 years of Fog on the Tyne, one for me and one for my friend John in the USA. We were soon back in our seats and into side 2 of the album, which features the wonderful Alan Hull classic “January Song”. I forgotten that they had covered one of Scottish folk singer Rab Noakes songs on the album. I saw Rab Noakes many times supporting Lindisfarne “back in the day”, and really enjoyed him (mental note to myself: check Rab Noakes website to see if I can go and see him any where, any time!) And so it continued, track by track, concluding with a great singalong of, of course, “Fog on the Tyne”. A great show, well executed, by 2 guys who have been there since the early days. We both really enjoyed it and learned a lot about the band, the songs and their history. On the way out Ray and Billy kindly signed my CDs. A great end to a perfect evening. Roll-on my next Lindisfarne outing.

Track listing of Fog on the Tyne:Lindisfarne-FogOnTheTyne
“Meet Me on the Corner” (Rod Clements)
“Alright on the Night” (Alan Hull)
“Uncle Sam” (Simon Cowe)
“Together Forever” (Rab Noakes)
“January Song” (Hull)
“Peter Brophy Don’t Care” (Hull, Terry Morgan)
“City Song” (Hull)
“Passing Ghosts” (Hull)
“Train in G Major” (Clements)
“Fog on the Tyne” (Hull)

8 responses to this post.

  1. Hi, I’m 17 and from the North East and my granddad has told me so much about Lindisfarne and the legendary Christmas gigs, it must have been great! After seeing the recent documentary by Sam Fender about Alan Hull I listen to them a lot recently, some of the greatest songs ever written, I love Lady Eleanor and Winter Song in particular. I play guitar myself and honestly the chords of Lady Eleanor are properly hard, the changes are well tricky. He was a brilliant songwriter. I love your blog, you’re from my area and have seen so many bands and artists I love that I’ll sadly never have the chance to see. What were Lindisfarne like in concert and how would you rate them against others of the era. Thanks, and I’m sorry to read of your accident, but think its inspiring that you haven’t let it beat you and stop you doing what you love. Best wishes, Nathan.

    Reply

    • Posted by vintagerock on April 25, 2022 at 11:52 am

      Hi Nathan I am so pleased that you enjoy my blog and that you are inspired by classic music. Lindisfarne were absolutely fantastic back in 1971 and 1972 when I saw them quite a few times. Clear White Light, Lady Eleanor and particularly Winter Song are my own favourites. They sounded just magical when I first heard them performed live 50+ years ago. A performance at the Lincoln Festival in 1972 sticks in my memory as being particularly excellent. There were 20 or 30 of us from Sunderland standing on bales of hay singing along with every song, as was the whole crowd. I spent many happy, drunken nights in the company of Lindisfarne and feel blessed to have been able to do so. Keep practising Lady Eleanor, my friend. And yes the Christmas concert were always great; a massive celebration of their music and Newcastle. Happy days Peter

      Reply

  2. Posted by Mike Tulloch on April 25, 2022 at 9:31 am

    Hi Peter,

    Thanks for a interesting and informative review. I got something from it I was previously unaware of: One of the tracks on the Fog on The Tyne album: Peter Brophy Don’t Care” (Hull, Terry Morgan) was co-written by Terry Morgan. At one time, Terry played bass in a band I was in and of course, I mention Alan Hull a couple of times in our book.

    Best wishes,

    Mike

    Reply

    • Posted by vintagerock on April 25, 2022 at 11:40 am

      Hi Mike you played with everybody my friend! Yes Terry was mentioned quite a bit and co-wrote that particular song with Alan. He was obviously a lifelong friend from schooldays and he and Alan played in many bands together cheers Peter

      Reply

  3. Ah…memories. First saw them (Lindisfarne) at The Oval cricket ground in 1971 an all day “festival” with The Faces & The Who headlining. I remember reading a report in Melody Maker about them playing in the USA and a local saying, “Linda’s Farm are gonna be big!” Then saw them in the City Hall during my first term as a student, fantastic. A couple of us went from the concert to queue all night for tickets to see The Who on their Quadrophenia tour which featured a memorable first night. I remember a Radio 1 interview with Alan Hull where he said, “I have been all round the world but I would always rather be back in The (North) Terrace playing darts with me mates”. The Terrace was my local for several years and I have never forgotten. That’s without the Jack The Lad gigs etc. Happy days. Thanks for these reports.

    Reply

    • Posted by vintagerock on April 26, 2022 at 10:22 am

      Thanks Alun. Yes I was at the memorable first night of the Quadrophenia tour at the Odeon in Newcastle! Lindisfarne was so great in those days. Thank you for following my reports. Happy days Peter

      Reply

  4. Posted by Peter Maggiore on April 29, 2022 at 5:38 pm

    Another great review Pete. Ive got a ticket for the Pitmen Poets at the Firestation. Looking forward to that one. Just a heads up, I don’t know if Country music is your thang, but highly recommend you check out Brandy Clark at the same venue. Superb artist. Cheers Pete

    Reply

    • Posted by vintagerock on April 30, 2022 at 2:01 pm

      Hi Pete I should really check some of these out and come along to the Fire Station. I will try and do so and may see you there one day. Cheers Peter

      Reply

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