Lindisfarne (Rock A-Z part #54)

IMGP8384This is my signed copy of the limited edition recording of Lindisfarne’s 2013 Christmas show at Newcastle City Hall. Underneath the CD is a signed copy of the programme for the gig.

I had the privilege of seeing Lindisfarne live back in the day in 1978 and 1979, although sadly not in Newcastle.

However, I have the good fortune now to have a very good friend who not only knows Ray ‘Jacka’ Jackson as a personal friend, but was also asked to write both the sleeve notes for the CD and the intro to the programme.

And, although I wasn’t able to get to the 2013 Christmas show, here’s an extract from the CD sleeve notes penned by Kevin Lindoe, which sum up what it really was always all about…

In the late 1970s and throughout the 1980s the Lindisfarne Christmas shows at Newcastle City Hall became the stuff of legend in the North East of England. People came from all over the world to attend the shows and to see a band performing to capacity audiences on their home ground inside one of the most beautiful civic concert halls in the UK. The words ‘Lindisfarne’, ‘Christmas’ and ‘Show’ became synonymous with each other in an astonishing way. Almost everyone in the North East of England was aware of the shows taking place, even if they were not attending themselves. They truly became a North East cultural phenomenon and established themselves in modern folklore

There are so many Lindisfarne tracks which do admirable justice to the band and their musical prowess but ‘Fog on the Tyne’ has to be one of the best. So here’s the Old Grey Whistle Test version…

Jonny Lang (Rock A-Z – part #53)

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Born in Fargo, North Dakota in 1981, Jonny Lang first took up the guitar at the tender age of 12. A wise move as, just two years later with his backing band ‘The Big Bang’, he independently released his first album – Smokin’.

A year later, in 1996, he was signed to A&M records and has subsequently released six further albums; Lie to Me (1997), Wander this World (1998), Long time coming (2003), Turn Around (2006), Live at the Ryman (2009) and Fight for my soul (2013).

Here though is one of my favourites of his – a collaboration with the Fisk Jubilee singers from 2012 culminating in the ‘Oh Happy Day’ EP from which this cracker comes…

Love Sculpture (Rock A-Z – part #52)

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Formed in Cardiff in 1966 by former members of the short-lived ‘The Human Beans’, Love Sculpture’s original line-up was Dave Edmunds on guitar and vox, John David on bass and Rob ‘Congo’ Jones on drums.

The band secured a top 5 hit with their reworking of Khachaturian’s classical ‘Sabre Dance’, helped no end after gaining the enthusiasm and support of the Radio One DJ John Peel.

Together for just four years, the band released two albums – ‘Blues Helping’ in 1968 and ‘Forms & Feelings’ in 1970 before splitting later that year following a US tour. And, were it not for the future solo success of guitarist Dave Edmunds, the band would almost certainly have disappeared into the realms of rock n roll obscurity.

‘I hear you knocking’ was released the Christmas after the Love Sculpture split, went straight to number 1 on both sides of the pond and sold over three million copies. That’s a cracker and remains a firm favourite. But for me, Love Sculpture remains synonymous with the title track of their first album – the sublime ‘Blues Helping’.

Led Zeppelin (Rock A-Z – part #51)

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On 30 November 1972, Led Zeppelin started their longest ever UK tour. 110,000 seats over 25 dates ending on 30 January 1973. Tickets went on sale simultaneously in box offices across the UK on 10 November 1972 and sold out within four hours – an unprecedented feat at the time.

Venues – 1972

30/11 & 1/12 – Newcastle City Hall
3/12 & 4/12 – Glasgow Greens Playhouse
7/12 & 8/12 – Manchester Hard Rock
11/12 & 12/12 – Cardiff Capitol Theatre
16/12 & 17/12 – Birmingham Odeon
20/12 – Brighton Dome
22/12 & 23/12 – London Alexandra Palace

Venues – 1973

2/1 – Sheffield City Hall
3/1 – Preston (cancelled; but re-arranged for 30/1)
4/1 – Bradford (cancelled; but re-arranged for 18/1)
7/1 – Oxford – New Theatre
14/1 – Liverpool – Empire Theatre
15/1 – Stoke-on-Trent – Trentham Gardens
16/1 – Aberystwyth – Kings Hall
18/1 – Bradford – St Georges’s Hall
21/1 & 22/1 – Southampton – Gaumont Theatre & University
25/1 – Aberdeen – Music Hall
27/1 – Dundee – Caird Hall
28/1 – Edinburgh – Kings Theatre
30/1 – Preston Guild Hall

As a part of the tour, the band played the 2000-seater Dome in Brighton on Wednesday 20 December. But, when the road crew drove the main equipment truck onto and across Brighton’s Pavilion lawns (adjacent to the venue), the band was subsequently banned from any future gigs in the town.

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All tickets for the tour were priced at the princely sum of £1 (one pound sterling) apart from the Manchester shows which went out at £1.25. The two cancelled (but subsequently re-arranged) dates in January were due to Robert Plant contracting a minor dose of the flu after the car he and John Bonham were travelling in broke down on the way to the Sheffield gig on 2nd January.

Set list – Brighton – 20 December 1972

Rock n roll
Over the hills and far away
Black Dog
Misty Mountain Hop
Since I’ve been loving you
Dancing Days
Bron-y-Aur stomp
The Song remains the same
The Rain Song
Dazed & Confused
Stairway to Heaven
Whole Lotta Love

[Encore] – Heartbreaker (followed by Robert Planted singing Christmas songs with the remaining crowd).

The 27 club

I’m not often prone to the art of re-posting a blog, but this poem today on the ‘Poet’s Corner’ WordPress site to which I subscribe as an author, was too good an opportunity to pass up:

Too Young To Leave BY WILLIAM

Jimi H left us in a purple haze

Tried to kiss the sky and have some fun

That foxy lady followed through the maze

Hey Joe, where are you going with that gun?

Janis J quickly followed with her ball and chain

Hey, please take another piece of her heart

Big Brother holding its own without much pain

Summertime and the going is not so easy

Jim M left us to light his fire

With Gloria up for hire

The Doors opening in the morn

Just before the Riders on the storm

Kurt C left us in a heart shaped box

All apologies, it’s about a girl

Went to Nirvana, a place of peace and happiness

Didn’t smell much like teen spirit at all

Amy W, Brian J and all the rest

They left us whilst at their best

27, far too young to leave

But it does give us plenty of time to grieve

Thanks so much for posting this William – I’m indebted to you!

Mok – Nene

Mok are off to play at Forgotten Fields this weekend. But, if like me, you weren’t able to get tickets, here’s their latest single  – ‘Nené’ – with footage from Blissfields festival earlier last month. Videography by Bezann Productions. Enjoy.

Mok are: Gracey & Lee on Vox, Jack on drums, Joe on keys, Dex on guitar and James on bass. Check out the Mok website for more.

Kings of Leon (Rock A-Z) Part #50

Formed in Nashville, Tennessee in the first year of the 21st century, Kings of Leon started life as a backing band in churches for the Rev. Followill, father to brothers Caleb, Jared and Nathan, founder band members together with cousin Matthew. The travelling roadshow moved from one trailer park to the next before deciding to go it alone with the release of the Southern Fried debut EP ‘Holy Roller Novocaine in early 2003.

This was closely followed by a break into the charts a few months later with ‘What I saw’ and ‘Youth & young manhood’ which made it into the UK top 5. Being picked up by the NME  gave them the type they needed though, and the excellent single ‘Molly Chambers’ (also from the ‘Holy Roller’ EP) shot into the UK charts in its own right, sealing the band’s future success.