Monday 6 January 2014

Celebrate the legendary Geordie group in Words and Music

PROLOGUE by Ray Laidlaw

“I was a member of Lindisfarne from its conception and loved nearly every minute of it. Billy Mitchell and I first met and made music together in our mid-teens when he was guest vocalist for future Lindisfarne members Simon Cowe, Rod Clements and I in our group, Downtown Faction.
We asked Billy to join Downtown Faction in 1968 but he wanted to concentrate on his own band, we kept looking and asked Ray Jackson who agreed and became part of our group just before we changed the name to Brethren. Shortly afterwards Alan Hull completed the line-up and Brethren became Lindisfarne. Billy watched our success from the sidelines and we approached him again in 1972 when Alan Hull was considering quitting touring with Lindisfarne and concentrating on songwriting. 

That plan didn't materialise and the original group split in two, creating Lindisfarne Mk 2 and Jack the Lad whose members were Rod Clements, Simon Cowe, Billy Mitchell and me.
In the 1980's Billy played in the Lindisfarne offshoot Pacamax with Alan, Rod and I and then following Alan's tragic death in 1995, he joined Rod Clements and I in the Mk 3 version of Lindisfarne which toured for eight years during which we made two studio albums. Billy and I have been bosom buddies since 1966 so he's had the inside track on Lindisfarne from it's formative days till the the Mk 3 retired in 2003.

We tell the Lindisfarne Story through words, music and a fantastic selection of archive songs and pictures, it's a product of fifty years of friendship and musical collaboration that tells the tale of a bunch of Geordie lads who followed their dream and shared a lot of laughs, a few tears, and a barrow load of fantastic music”. (Ray Laidlaw)

Lindisfarne was Tyneside's best-loved band for over thirty years and The Lindisfarne Story is a celebration of the group's music and achievements. The show is devised, written and performed by drummer/founder member Ray Laidlaw, and Billy Mitchell, front man for the final eight years of the group. Ray and Billy perform acoustic versions of Lindisfarne's classic songs and tell the inside story of the group's rise to fame, from Whitley Bay to San Francisco Bay, from Rothbury to Glastonbury. They describe the group's early days on Tyneside in the 1960's hustling for gigs and their rise to fame in the early seventies. The show is illustrated with personal archive photographs and video and describes their worldwide tours, festival successes and TV appearances, their triumphant return home and their unique relationship with Newcastle City Hall, venue for over 130 Lindisfarne performances. Lady Eleanor, Meet Me On The Corner, Fog on the Tyne, Run for Home, all of these songs have a story behind them. Enjoy hearing them again in an intimate venue and discover what was the inspiration behind their composition. You'll hear how the classic songs developed and how Bob Dylan's producer helped Lindisfarne to focus their musical ideas and burst through the glam and manufactured sounds around them to become one of the major British groups of the seventies.

In 2014 the appeal of Lindisfarne is as strong as ever, EMI recently released a 40th anniversary limited edition vinyl version of the certified platinum 'Fog On The Tyne' album. Newcastle City Council unveiled a blue plaque on Newcastle City Hall honouring the life and work of the late Alan Hull, the band's much-missed songwriter and singer and in December 2013, "Ray Jackson’s Lindisfarne" performed several concerts around the North East.

As one of 20 ‘notable and inspiring’ names from Newcastle Gateshead, Lindisfarne have been chosen by the public to have their names cast in bronze for a Hollywood-style ‘Hall of Fame’, commemorating their contribution to the North East. The band’s name will be immortalised alongside Sir Bobby Robson, Sting, Kathryn Tickell, Alan Shearer and ‘Auf Weidersehen, Pet’ writers, Dick Clement and Ian La Frenais along Gateshead Newcastle Quayside. The presentation will be made in March 2014.

The Lindisfarne Story has captured the imagination of the fans and media:
'Just a line to thank you all for a fantastic night’s entertainment in Whitley Bay Saturday past. We were a group of 8 and each and every one of us had a fabulous night. After many years front of house in large venues worldwide I doubt I have enjoyed myself more.' 
(John Tweddle)

'The Lindisfarne Story at the Gala Theatre in Durham last night was fantastic...thank you !' (Mary Douglas)

'Don't miss it!' Sam Wonfor, Newcastle Journal

For more information on dates and exclusive Photos and footage please visit the official website here:

Confirmed Tour Dates


1st: BLYTH - Phoenix Theatre, 37A Beaconsfield St, Blyth, Northumberland NE24 2DS

01670 367228 £15 

5th: BINGLEY - Arts Theatre, Main St, Town Centre, Bingley BD16 2LZ
01274 431576 7.30pm

7th: BARNSLEY - Lamproom Theatre, Westgate, Barnsley, West Yorkshire S70 2DX
01226 200075 £14/£13 (concs) 7.30pm 

8th: BROMSGROVE -  Artrix, Slideslow Dr, Bromsgrove B61 1PQ
01527 577330 £17.50 8pm 

14th: SNIBSTON -  Coalville Century Theatre, Snibston Court, Ashby Rd, Coalville LE67 3JZ
+44 1530 27844 £15 7.30pm 

31st: KESWICK -  Theatre By The Lake,  Lakeside, Lake Rd, Keswick, Cumbria CA12 5DJ
017687 74411

Confirmed Autumn Dates

31st August Keswick Theatre By The Lake

04: Berwick Maltings
06: Darlington Civic Theatre
 10: Buxton Pavilion
 11: Banbury The Mill
 12: Ilkley Kings Hall
13: Peterborough Key Theatr
14: Harlow Playhouse
16: Bilston Robin 2
 17: Croydon Ashcroft Theatre
 18: Wimborne Tivoli Theatre
 19: Falmouth Princess Pavilion
 20: Weston Super Mare Playhouse
 21: Kettering Lighthouse Theatre
 24th Rhyl Pavilion
 25th Newark Palace Theatre
26th Edmonton Millfield Arts Centre
 27th Tunbridge Wells Assembly Hall
28th Shanklin I.O.W. Shanklin Theatre
 30th Wakefield Theatre Royal

 01: Rotherham Civic Theatre
02: Clacton Westcliff Theatre
 03: Camberley Camberley Theatre
04: Boston Blackfriars Arts Centre
 05: Hunstanton Princess Theatre
 07: Margate Theatre Royal
08: Bury St Edmunds Apex
09: Milton Keynes The Stables
10: Haywards Heath Clare Hall
11: Leamington Spa Assembly Hall
 14: Crewe Lyceum
15: Stevenage Gordon Craig Theatre
16: Scunthorpe Plowright Theatre
17: Wigan Parish Church
 18: Langholm Buccleuch Centre
 19: Ayr Gaiety Theatre
21: Leeds City Varieties
 22: Darwen Library Theatre
 23: Epsom Playhouse
24: Blackwood Miners Institute
25: Swansea Grand Theatre
 26: Monmouth Savoy
 28: Bedford Corn Exchange
: Cannock Prince Of Wales Theatre
30: Horsham Capitol
31: New Brighton Pavilion

03: Chesterfield Pomegranate Theatre
 04: East Grinstead Chequer Mead

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