One of the UK’s most successful folk-rock bands of the 70s, Lindisfarne is celebrated this April (2023) with the release of Radio Times – Live At The BBC 1971-1990, the definitive take on the band’s time at the Corporation constituting over eight hours of recordings over 8 discs.
Rod Clements leads the current 50th anniversary touring incarnation of this iconic band, also featuring late co-founder Alan Hull’s son-in-law Dave Hull-Denholm on vocals/guitar. In 2021, BBC4 broadcast the acclaimed and subsequently award-winning documentary Lindisfarne’s Geordie Genius: The Alan Hull Story, presented by Sam Fender.
Their roots in the culturally distinct Tyneside area of England’s North-East in 1968, Lindisfarne blended the mercurial songwriting talent of singer/guitarist Hull with ‘sweet and sour’ harmonies, proud references to their homeland and a boozy, uplifting acoustic-rock swagger that won over the masses in Britain in the early 70s.
The first three albums – Nicely Out Of Tune (1971), Fog On The Tyne (1972) and Dingly Dell (1973) – all went Top 10, with Fog On The Tyne hitting No.1. Two singles also went Top 10 in the UK: ‘Meet Me On The Corner’ (written by bassist/violinist Clements) and ‘Lady Eleanor’ (written by Hull).
For three years, Lindisfarne shone brightly, creating a kind of folk-rock that was completely their own, with traditional music icing the visceral core of Alan Hull’s socially and ecologically informed songcraft, like the Beatles with Bob Dylan, some mandolins and a crate of Newcastle Brown Ale.
The band split in late 1973, with Hull and singer/mandolinist Ray Jackson forming Lindisfarne Mk II (1974-75). In 1978, on the back of hugely successful Christmas reunion concerts at Newcastle City Hall, Lindisfarne Mk I were reborn with a triumphant Top 10 single ‘Run For Home’. The band continued, until Hull’s untimely death in 1995.
While several 1971-74 Lindisfarne BBC sessions were released on CD in 1998, this 8CD set not only adds substantially to the volume of material from that era but extends it to cover the 1978-90 reunion period.
Curated by Colin Harper with an authoritative booklet essay by Chris Charlesworth, Radio Times – Live At The BBC is a lavishly packaged set featuring 131 audio tracks, of which over 60 are previously unreleased, all fully approved by the original Lindisfarne band members and their estates.
Radio Times – Live At The BBC 1971-1990 is released on March 31st 2023 by Repertoire Records.
Lindisfarne’s MAGIC IN THE AIR 2023 TOUR commences this April: dates details at https://www.lindisfarne.com/