Lindisfarne Pavilion Theatre Yarm 17 September 2022

lindistixLindisfarne have an intriguing and somewhat confusing history. There are, in practice, currently two versions of the band touring at the moment. The first, the Lindisfarne Story, comprises founding drummer Ray Laidlaw along with later vocalist and long-term friend of the band, Billy Mitchell who tour as a duo telling stories and singing acoustic versions of the Lindisfarne repertoire. I was lucky enough to see them quite recently at Durham Gala Theatre and have reported separately on that concert.

LINDIS5The second version of Lindisfarne is a fully electric band which tours the country playing all of the well-known songs that Lindisfarne are so famous for. Until a few years ago this band was fronted by Ray Jackson, former front man, singer and harmonica player who has now retired to focus upon his other passion, drawing and painting. I recently purchased a signed print of his “Fog on the Tyne” work, which  is excellent! This version of the band is now fronted by original member Rod Clements and features past members of Lindisfarne. It was this, electric version, of Lindisfarne that I was seeing in Yarm.

The following extract from the Pavilion Theatre‘s website summarises the bands history thus:

“LINDISFARNE emerged from Tyneside in the 1970s and quickly carved out a unique place for themselves as one of British rock’s most original bands. Their pioneering sound, combining acoustic instruments like mandolin and fiddle with their electric blues roots, proved the perfect medium to deliver the catchy, memorable songs provided by the band’s resident writers Alan Hull and Rod Clements.

LINDIS3Their first hit, the Clements-penned “Meet Me on the Corner”, paved the way for their classic Fog on the Tyne to become the UK’s top-selling album of 1972. LINDISFARNE’s unforgettable songs, powerful live performances and unpretentious style led to worldwide success and an enviable reputation as festival favourites, and the annual Christmas concerts they presented in their native Newcastle became the stuff of legend.

The original band finally called it a day in 2003, but now LINDISFARNE are back with a classic five-piece line up of long-time members fronted by original founder-member Rod Clements (vocals, mandolin, fiddle, slide guitar) and Alan Hull’s son-in-law Dave Hull-Denholm (vocals, guitars). “ Other members are: Steve Daggett (vocals, keyboards, acoustic guitar and harmonica) who has been in the band since 1986; Ian Thomson (electric and double bass) a member since 1995 and Paul Smith (drums) who joined more recently in 2021.”

“With a repertoire of much-loved songs like “Meet Me on the Corner”, “Fog on the Tyne”, “Lady Eleanor” and “Run for Home. “…

The Princess Alexandra Auditorium is a stunning venue on the Yarm School site. “A visit to the Auditorium is memorable, with beautiful views of the River Tees”. And memorable, indeed, it is. This beautiful venue is hidden behind Yarm school and has been open for 10 years. It really is a stunning venue and I am surprised that I have never heard of it before.

LINDIS 1We had great seats in the front row and got there just in time to see Lindisfarne (no support act) begin the proceedings with old favourite “No Time to Lose”. The concert was in two sets with a short interval between them. What can I say! The new (-ish) band play all the old favourites and do them 100% justice. Rod Clements is a quiet yet charismatic front man who introduces many of the songs. Dave Hull-Denholm performs his father-in-law’s songs with the reverence they deserve and his vocals sound very much like Alan Hull. Steve Daggett sings quite a few of the songs and again does justice to the Lindisfarne repertoire. So in the first set we get great tunes such as the enigmatic, melodic early classic “Lady Eleanor”. This song always intrigues me. The lyric “in came Roderick Usher with the lady Eleanor” is not quite true to the Edgar Allan Poe tail “The Fall of the House of Usher”. The lady in question is actually Madeline not Eleanor. I wonder why they use that particular poetic licence? Other favourites are “Road to Kingdom Come” and, closing the first set, “January Song”.

LINDIS 2The second set begins with another great Lindisfarne classic “Alright on the Night”. Soon we get a wonderful, atmospheric performance of the much underrated “Dingley Dell”. This brings back lovely memories of seeing Lindisfarne at Newcastle City Hall on the Dingley Dell tour. I went both nights as there were different supports each night and I was a fan of each band: Stackridge and Genesis! Happy days. Then, my particular favourite which still makes the hair stand up on the back of my neck: Dave performing “Winter Song”. Soon we are into the hits: “We can Swing Together”, “Fog on the Tyne” and “Meet me on the Corner”, followed by the massive hit Lindisfarne reunion song “Run for Home”. And the closer, yes it had to be “Clear White Light”. I am transported back to the first time I saw Lindisfarne in the City Hall sandwiched between headliner Van der Graaf Generator and new up-and-coming band Genesis. All for 25p as I recall! Happy days

A great night spent with a great local band. Wonderful. The taxi takes around one hour to get me back home and soon I am in my bed thinking how wonderful Lindisfarne remain.

LINDISFLYEROn the way out we are given a flyer for the Newcastle City Hall Lindisfarne Christmas concert, following the tradition of many years. I went to what I think was the 1st Christmas concert at Newcastle City Hall in 1971. Sadly I am unable to attend this year as I will be seeing Rod Stewart at Newcastle Arena on the same night. Such dilemmas always annoy me and sent to try me! This was one of the reasons I made the trip to Yarm to see Lindisfarne. Many thanks to carer Jan for taking the photos. No merchandise to buy this evening.

So I am left with the question: who provides the better evening; the Lindisfarne Story or Lindisfarne? A question which is of course impossible to answer. They are both excellent bands who both hold a rightful place in the history and legacy of Tyneside’s greatest band. We should celebrate that we have two opportunities to hear and sing along with, those great classic songs that are such an important part of my youth.

Setlist: Set 1: No Time to Lose; Turn a Deaf Ear; Scarecrow Song; Song for a Windmill; Lady Eleanor; All Fall Down; Anyway the Wind Blows; Marshall Riley’s Army; Road to Kingdom Come; 100 Miles to Liverpool; January Song.

Set 2: Alright on the Night; Together Forever; Dingly Dell; Songbook; Winter Song; Numbers (Travelling Band); We Can Swing Together; Fog on the Tyne; Meet Me on the Corner; Run for Home; Clear White Light.

2 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by John Johnstone on September 27, 2022 at 4:19 pm

    Sounds like you had a great time. I saw Lindisfarne at Morecambe Platform nine months ago and they played a similar set. Excellent nostalgic evening with great songs and very accomplished musicians. I wanted to see them there in November this year but I’m off to see another group on the same night. Mind you, I have just bought tickets for their September 2023 gig in Lytham though.

    As an aside, I saw Lindisfarne at Bowness in 2019 and they had Paul Thompson playing on drums, and I’ll be seeing him again in a couple of weeks time at the Roxy Music gig in Manchester. Nice guy, great drummer!

    Reply

    • Posted by vintagerock on September 27, 2022 at 5:11 pm

      Thanks for sharing John. Yes Lindisfarne are still great. I am jealous about Roxy Music. I quite fancied going but had too much going on at that time. Enjoy. I’m sure they will be great. I first saw them in 1972 with Eno and they were magical. Happy days Peter

      Reply

Leave a Reply

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

WordPress.com Logo

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

Twitter picture

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

Facebook photo

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

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: