April 11, 2023

One of the UK’s most successful folk-rock bands of the 70s Lindisfarne celebrate their live recordings at the BBC, with more than eight hours of material, over half of which is previously unreleased. Compiled by celebrated author, journalist, biographer and musician Colin Harper, with Lindisfarne founder members Rod Clements, Ray Jackson and Ray laidlaw. Restored & remastered for best sound quality by Martin Stansbury at Cacophony cottage and includes a photo laden booklet with an authoritative essay by Chris Charlesworth.

Formed on Tyneside in England’s North-East in 1968, Lindisfarne blended the mercurial songwriting talent of singer/guitarist Alan 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.

Their 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 Rod 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.

Rod Clements leads the current 50th anniversary touring incarnation, featuring Alan Hull’s son-in-law Dave Hull-Denholm on vocals/guitar. In 2021, BBC4 broadcast the acclaimed documentary Lindisfarne’s Geordie Genius: The Alan Hull Story, presented by contemporary Tyneside star Sam Fender. 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, 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 band members and their estates.