Review: Lindisfarne at the Lichfield Guildhall

Since forming in the sixties, Lindisfarne have led the field in folk-rock music with their strong song-writing matched to musicianship of the highest calibre.

Their best known hits, including Lady Eleanor, Meet me on the Corner and Fog on the Tyne matched sing-along choruses to powerful narratives.

Lindisfarne

Lindisfarne

Although their commercial peak happened more than a decade ago, their sold out Lichfield audience was testament to both their staying power and the timeless quality of many of their songs. Their sound blended folk with rock to startling effect.

These days the group consists of founding member Rod Clements on vocals, mandolin, fiddle and guitars, vocalist and guitarist Dave Hull-Denholm, Steve Daggett on vocals, keyboards, and guitars, guitarist and vocalist Charlie Harcourt, and the powerful and sympathetic rhythm section of drummer Paul Thompson and bassist Ian Thompson.

The songs played ranged from folk ballads to loud, blues-based slide guitar-led rock songs.

As well as the more rousing numbers, many of the songs featured narrative storytelling of a different nature, as with Marshall and His Army or All Fall Down, with its violin part adding to the pathos of the piece.

Lady Eleanor received a warm ovation, while the rest of the first half consisted of largely mid-career tracks, but which were heavy on musical detail and showed a well drilled band off to their best advantage.

The second half of the set was heavily loaded with the hit songs, with many in the audience being word-perfect. Numbers such as Meet Me On The Ledge and Fog On The Tyne received the highest level of applause. The band still seemed to enjoy playing them, which is not always the case in groups with popular songs which are more than 40 years old.

The folk rock of Run For Home mixed a sing-along chorus with a foot-tapping beat, while the encore, Clear White Light – which was the band’s first hit – showed of their more progressive rock side and featured some fine keyboard and guitar playing.

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