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Monday, 15 February 2016
Surviving Lindisfarne TV Clips 1971-1996
Run for home, run as fast as you can, because the Alan's Album Archives Youtube player is up and running at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MYPBF4s8m_Y&list=PLEBE254FC04E92F78, woah yeah running man....
From meeting dream-sellers on street corners to the fog drifting over the Tyne, Lindisfarne had a knack for writing visual songs so it makes sense that there should be a feast of goodies for the TV coverage section of our next band. There's a frustratingly small amount of clips of Lindisfarne from their heydey (1970 to 1972) around for several reasons - firstly this was the end of the era when music programmes tended to be junked rather than kept so a lot of the band's performances are sadly probably lost; secondly unlike some other groups Lindisfarne's music didn't travel that well - they were a peculiarly British phenomenon by and large so didn't have the endless invitations to perform for American or European TV like some of our other bands (with one or two exceptions); thirdly, the band weren't well known enough to hire the first eighteen months of their 'first career' - and were simply too busy during the second, with gruelling tours and concert stage shows. However if you like reckon that the Lindisfarne reunion albums are worth a listen and have some interesting things on them in between the weird rock and roll cover albums and 80s production sounds then you're in luck because the band seemed to be never away from a television camera between their return in 1978 and their final bow in 2003.There's an interesting and roughly equal split this week between music shows, music videos and concerts, although watch out for the unusual addition of Lindisfarne appearing on children's TV and on local news items which don't normally feature on our list! Lindisfarne were always regarded as something of a sloppy live band - actually that was only true on some nights as they were another of our AAA band who left things just loose enough for the magic to shine through while occasionally messing up and we'll cover the swing between the thin line of slickness and sloppiness throughout this article.
The bad news as usual is that official Lindisfarne releases are few and far between - there aren't that many DVDs out there and certainly nothing featuring anything in the way of 'classic' clips, just the 1990s and 00s era band in concert. There are a few repeats on BBC4 every so often though, usually the same clip of 'Fog On The Tyne' from the Old Grey Whistle Test which seems to be shown for any old excuse ('Northern musicians' - check, '1970s number ones' - check!, folk-rock hits - check!, songs namechecking sausage rolls featuring mandolins - check!) although for the majority of this listing you're back looking at our old friend Youtube again I'm afraid. However the good news is that all of the clips featured here are available on the official Lindisfarne youtube channel (accessed through http://www.lindisfarne.co.uk/lindisfarne-tv/lindisfarne-tv.htm) - along with a fair few solo performances and unscreened audience or privately filmed concerts that are a little out of our remit (to keep things orderly, however, do check out our own Alan's Album Archives Lindisfarne Youtube playlist featuring all of these items available from at https://www.youtube.com/user/AlansArchives)
As usual a few caveats before we go. Firstly and most obviously some things are missing - Lindisfarne performed a handful more TV appearances than this, especially early in their career, which have been lost to the ages and short of inventing a time machine there's no way I can go back and review them on first broadcast; we could take it on other's people's face value what things were like but that starts getting difficult and mistakes creep in; this is instead a list of what's survived rather than what was as seen by my own rapidly-declining pair of eyes. We've shrunk this list down to concentrate on the music rather than the interviews out there, although we've made a few exceptions when the band have something particularly interesting to say. We've cut out the many Alan Hull and Jack The Lad clips out there not for reasons of quality but out of quantity - they're all there in the official Youtube list anyway if you want to see them (and you should, particularly the riveting 'Malvinas Melody' from 1983), although we've added Hully's solo acting performance in the TV play 'Squire' because it is does play such a key part in his oeuvre and ditto the only two surviving clips of Jack The Lad in a studio (as opposed to a performance at a gig, which we've left to review another day). Do please bear in mind that while this list is as close to chronological order as I can work out, biographical details for all things Lindisfarne are a little sketchier so might not quite match up the order we've got things listed in here (one day in the future when I'm eleventy-ninety-two we'll make this an interactive site you could chop and change but till then you'll have to put up with the odd mistake I'm afraid). Finally, I would never dare call this a 'complete' list, even of TV clips that still exist - there's bound to be something that was on late at night on some random channel in deepest Moldova I never had a chance to see (we're big in Moldova you know, with more hits there than almost any other country - and no I don't know either!) As usual if we've missed something obvious then feel free to drop us a line! Right that's about all I think: come and join us on our journey through the clear white light of the TV screen as we celebrate the moments when Lindisfarne was 'court in the act' of making music in front of a TV camera...
1) Old Grey Whistle Test ('Meet Me On The Corner' 'Fog On The Tyne' UK TV 1971)
This time around Lindisfarne's most famous pair of clips come at the beginning of this list, with a much repeated couple of versions of two of the band's biggest songs. The highlight of this video goes to Si Cowe's hairdresser, whose really let his locks grow for this one while Hully performs in a beanie hat, Ray seems to have turned up in a public school boater and Jacka seems to have arrived wearing his old school p.e. kit! This is a great pair of performances from the leading BBC music show, though, and you can see why they get repeated so many times with 'Fog' much like the record (largely mimed with them singing along to the record?) but 'Corner' given a delightful slow 'unplugged' arrangement with Rod's bass booming and Jacka's harmonica apparently pre-recorded while Ray thumps a very large bass drum!
2) Pop2 #1 ('Together Forever' 'No Time To Lose' 'Meet Me On The Corner' 'Train In G Major' 'Jackhammer Blues' Swedish TV 1972)
'Has anybody heard of Woody Gurthrie?' says Rod to a uncomprehending Swedish audience as Lindisfarne become the latest AAA band to appear on this popular music concert show. Goodness knows what they made of it all though - Lindisfarne don't exactly play their better or more popular songs and give a rather sloppy performance by their standards, with the jadedness of what turned out to be the band's farewell tour clearly biting by this point. Not that the camera-work helps much - it takes a good half of 'Together Forever' until the camera pans from the band's back view to the front! Rod does all the introductions oddly enough and even speaks a bit in French, though he doesn't seem too sure about what he's just said! A rocky 'No Time To Lose' played a tad slower than normal is about the best performance on offer here. The band are all interviewed while squatting in front of their drumkits but in common with all the other 'Pop2' shows a translation takes place while the band are speaking which makes it all hard to hear. The band look incredibly bored and tired, not looking at each while they take turns in speaking slowly and shyly at length. The most interesting chat is Alan talking about 'not being that keen on America and Rod replying to the line 'are you all particularly pacifist?' with the line 'well, I suppose we're not particularly violent!' but we'll have a go and see what it's like'. The band all look impossibly young - but of course they were back then. Oh and Jacka and Ray have both grown beards! Well stubble...
3) Pop2 #2 ('Fog On The Tyne' Sweden TV 1972)
The return of Lindisfarne to Pop2, for one song only - and apparently a second performance given that the lengths of the beards and clothes have changed! It's as long song though, one of the longest live versions of the band's best-selling hit around. Rod introduces a lengthy version of the simple little folk song' 'The Fog On The Tyne', which must surely have been incomprehensible in translation! Hull quips that the performance sounds like 'Bobby Dylan' as Jacka gets going on the harmonica and the song takes an age to get going before Hull finally stops improvising and starts singing.
4) Jack The Lad Cinema Advert (1974)
Deciding to think outside the box, Lindisfarne decided to advertise their second album 'The Old Straight Track' in a unique way with a series of rarely seen adverts shown in cinemas. The advert is a mock-up of several genre films that all reflect some aspect of the band's sound. It starts as a bawdy 'carry on' comedy with Billy trying to undo the chastity lock on a wench's dress while the rest of the band sit around in medieval garb munching grapes (with Walter's head served on a plate!) to the tune of 'The Wurm'. Next up is part of 'A Corny Pastiche' with the band as a gang of finger-snapping jacket-wearing street thugs (the visuals and sound really don't go together!) before the quintet wind up doing some country dancing! Finally the band appear dressed as Newcastle United for a sports flick with Si (eventually) scoring a winning goal against Phil! The advert ends with an amazing forward somersault from Si and he actually scores a winning goal at the end of it (no stunt double required! Mad, but in a good way. I think.
5) Squire (Alan Hull acts in Drama by Tom Pickard 1975)
Geordie playwright Tom Pickard shared many of the same creative fuel and influences as Alan Hull and it was inevitable the pair's paths should cross somewhere down the line. The meeting came in the final days of the 'Lindisfarne Mark II' band when they were invited to add a few songs to the soundtrack of a TV play Pickard was working on about unemployment in Newcastle. The director, also a Lindisfan, desperately wanted Hull to actually appear in the piece too and offered him the lead role, dismissing Alan's argument 'but I can't act!' with the word 'you can read can't you?!' Actually Hull is a revelation in the role of a man recently laid off and while slightly stiff adds a real sense of sadness and helplessness to the character who must have reminded him so much of his pre-Lindisfarne self struggling to make a living and feed his young family. Hull would write a whole album based around the play as his second record also named 'Squire', though not much of the album made it into the soundtrack and the two are loosely linked rather than this being a 'soundtrack' album. Sadly the play itself is rarely seen and long overdue a DVD release (preferably with Ray Davies' similar role in 'The Loneliness Of The Long Distance Piano Player' on the back!) His chat up line to his benefit supervisor - 'You can come round and arrange my furniture any time you want!'
6) ('Rocking Chair' Jack The Lad UK TV 1975)
As far as I can make out, the only Jack The Lad TV ship to have survived the years is a fine live performance of one of their greatest numbers for an unknown TV show circa 1975 (although if I had to guess I'd say that the timing and weird set design would suggest the short-lived ITV series 'Supersonic' on which The Kinks also played this year and look equally awkward on). Mitch's vocal is notably deeper than on the record and he plays his Geordie accent down a bit too! The layout is, well, bonkers, Mitch up front with a red light on him while the rest of the band play on what looks like scaffolding: that's Ian 'Walter' Fairburn on fiddle and various other things on 'our' left, Phil Murray on bass in the middle, Si Cowe on mandolin on the right and way at the back and up high Ray Laidlaw on the drums. For some reason it appears to start snowing indoors partway through the song...It's a great performance and it's a tragedy that there aren't more clips of this great band around.
7) Run For Home (Music Video 1978)
A rather odd video for Lindisfarne's comeback single, which appears to be an all too literal idea of them being back home, playing on top of a windy bridge that's obviously meant to be on the Tyne! Along the way the band dress up in tuxedos to mime being a string quartet. Note that Rod has now grown a fuller beard rather than his traditional goatee style which will be back to normal by the next clip!
8) Top Of The Pops ('Juke Box Gypsy' UK TV 1978)
Rather sadly only one Lindisfarne TOTP performance has survived the ages and it's not a song you might be expecting to see, the flop and rather graphic follow-up to 'Run For Home'. The band in fact censor themselves with a whole new second verse for a family audience: 'Magic medicine feels so fine, you can be my doctor any ole' time' replacing the line 'one injection and it feels alright, one more poke and you can do it all night!' However no one censors the chorus line 'hold your dress up high! Alan is up front and centre this time, with Si and Jacka sharing a microphone behind him and clearly enjoying themselves!
9) Unknown ('Jukebox Gypsy' 1978)
More of the same, with a second censored performance of the second single from 'Back and Fourth' but a live one this time performed in a much grumpier mood than last time. It's a much scrappier live performance than before with a short-haired Si Cowe staring out the camera with a scowl as Hull keeps looking over as if to check he's OK - have the famously combustible pair just had a row backstage?
10) ('Warm Feeling' German TV 1978)
Filmed for an unknown German TV programme, a fully bearded Jacka takes the lead on his own song while Alan and Si share a microphone and get the giggles, with Rod later joining in too when he sees what's going on. The pair even play back-to-back in a very rock star manner while Jacka tries his best to stay in character.
11) A Little Summer Music ('Lady Eleanor' UK TV 1978)
Meanwhile, over in Britain, ITV are celebrating the return of Lindisfarne with a performance of an old friend - which astonishingly is the earliest clip of Lindisfarne performing their debut single I can find. This incarnation of 'Eleanor' has a tougher rock backbeat than normal and a slightly faster tempo - the closest of the many 'Eleanor' arrangements to punk! The harmonies are particularly fine on this version, although Si loses his way slightly on the guitar part - despite all that it's one of the finest live Lindisfarne TV appearances around.
12) Revolver ('King's Cross Blues' UK TV 1978)
'This group thought what about writing a song about travelling on a train from King's Cross? Yeah, wonderful idea isn't it?' Peter Cook's dour and sarcastic intro aside, this is one of Lindisfarne's better performances of one of their better songs on the period, a nicely retro rocker written by Jacka for a change and sung by him with gusto (just as well as the camera barely shows anyone else!) Si has a nasty scar on his cheek this week, though he's only seen in one passing shot (is this why?)
13) Brand New Day (Music Video 1978)
A rather odd video for a rather odd song, this was Lindisfarne's attempt at a big hit sequel to 'Run For Home' but didn't have its predecessor's 'legs' in all senses of the words. Much of the video is shot through a distorted filter, which is apt given the lyrics about seeing the world through different eyes but doesn't exactly make for comfortable viewing. The band are back at the Tyne Bridge yet again and seem to have learnt from past appearances there judging how warmly dressed everyone is!
14) Call Of The Wild (Music Video 1979)
Winning the award for the most 'bonkers' Lindisfarne music video is this flop from 'The News' which starts off with the band performing naked in a cage (modestly covered up by their instruments before they perform more normally fully-dressed inside a TV studio. Suddenly though we're in a dream-scape of the band performing a top a steam engine and then at a zoo where Hull looks deeply nervous in the elephant's cage and later looks downright terrified perched up on a giant hale-bale being taken down a road on the back of a truck! None of this is anywhere in the lyrics by the way... To be honest it all seems a bit desperate and OOTT and all a bit too 'wild' for me!
15) Rock Goes To College (UK Concert 1979 'Court In The Act' 'Lady Eleanor' 'Make Me Want To Stay' 'King's Cross Blues' 'Run For Home' 'A Brand New Day' 'We Can Swing Together')
Between 1978 and 1981 The BBC ran a series dedicated to filming gigs that were taking place on college campuses (it was a sequel to a popular 1960s BBC series 'Jazz Goes To College' - see if you can guess which element they changed!) While many of the acts featured appealed to younger crowds, capturing the end of punk and the start of new wave, a few popular 'oldies' acts got the go-ahead too. The shows were quite a coup in their day, simultaneously broadcast on BBC 2 (television) and Radio One. Lindisfarne were the ninth band to play in the series and their gig took place at Essex University. Though not the best gig Lindisfarne ever played (the band seem a bit tired - with a comment made that they're in the 'middle' of a 40 date tour - and veer towards sloppy rather than slick) it's certainly one of the longest DJ Pete Drummond introduces the band wearing a very fetching Lindisfarne T-shirt The band are belatedly promoting their 'Magic In The Air' live album and mainly stick to older material from that album, although there's a nice version of recent hit single 'Run For Home' that's arguably the highlight, alongside a rare live rendering of the band's recent flop single 'Brand New Day' and a pumped up 'King's Cross Blues'.
16) Cambridge Folk Festival ('Stormy Weather' UK Concert 1982)
Sadly only one short performance by Lindisfarne was ever broadcast on this anthology. I'm amazed it's this song that got through to broadcast to be honest, Hull angrily referencing the Falklands war in his rap about taking off his 'uniform'. It's a great performance with an impassioned Hull spitting fury as he drives the band on to a faster and harder performance of this 'Sleepless Nights' classic than most other live performances, with Jacka doing his exercises during the intro! There's a false ending the band don't often use either. The festival was run every year from 1964 in the UK and is now over half a century old.
17) Nights (Music Video 1982)
The first of an unprecedented four music videos shot to promote the album 'Sleepless Nights', this is one of the bigger budget ones with the band fooling around in an amusement arcade in Whitney Bay. The music director clearly picked up on the 50s feel of the music and provided a video very like 'That'll Be The Day' full of Butlin's Redcoats, young girls and the like. Jacka does a good job as a romantic lead, but the scene is well and truly stolen by the carnage going on behind him: Ray, Alan and Rod 'aah' along on a carousel motorbike while in front Si mimes his guitarwork in the back of a big red truck! The end is interesting, taking a very long time to fade out to nothing and featuring a slightly longer edit of the song in the process.
18) Start Again (Music Video 1982)
Another fun music video has Lindisfarne having fun in the dressing up box as they each re-enact a story that the song's vague lyrics about re-starting a relationship could be telling. Shot in the same stately home seen on the cover of the 'Sleepless Nights' LP we see Jacka as a former millionaire-turned-tramp (a regular role!) trying to woo back the lady of the manor (who keeps her clothes on for the video!) Alan is the butler, Rod the gardener, Si the cook and Ray the chauffeur. Everyone but Jacka also appear as a smartly dressed string quartet who play to the lady before Jacka the Tramp joins in from the window. Along the way Jacka takes over Si's job and presents his ex with a cake re-iced with the words 'start again' - despite throwing said confectionary out the window the lady of the manor invites Jacka up a very long flight of stairs up to bed before the servants discover him and throw him out! Weirdly enough the video ends with the ex watching Lindisfarne on TV although that specially shot clip lasts for precisely five seconds before the video ends! (The band won't be this big budget again for the rest of the article!)
19) I Must Stop Going To Parties (Music Video 1982)
Hello this is Alan's Album Archives inviting you to a party! There's a conga line running through Alan Hull's living room and he's had enough. IN a video as funny as the song Hull opens the door to the camera with a sad look on his face surrounded by lots of tinsel and party-poppers but the party-pooper is interrupted by a mad crowd of people in costumes: Jacka as a hobo, Rod as a devil (playing the 'Terry' in the song with a maniacal grin all over his face!), Si is a cat (I think!) and Ray is a clown who wins a cup of tea during a 'pass the parcel' game! Jacka and his harmonica finally lead everyone out the door to deliver his final message ('The punch has all been drunk - and the drunks have all been punched!') However that old devil Terry/Rod rings him up and suddenly everyone's back in his house all over again! A fab video that's like one long Monkees romp.
20) Meet Mike Elliott ('Sunderland Boys' UK TV 1982)
A rare mimed performance from the band on this final entry from 'Sleepless', with Ray miming to Rod's song. It's an apt choice of material given that compere and comedian Mike Elliott was from Sunderland and he knew the band well, even touring with them as a 'support act' for a while, although Elliott was more comfortable as a documentary-maker, filming several region programmes about North-East traditions. The band give a very 'serious' performance with Rod up front unusually while Alan wearing thick sunglasses plays to the right beyond a stack of keyboards. Jacka does a good job remembering all the tongue-twisting words
21) Multi-Coloured Swap-Shop (UK TV 1982)
Ray, Rod and Jacka were the only bandmates to turn up to the windy and wet outside broadcast of frantic children's show multi-coloured swapshop. Jacka tells presenter Keith Chegwin that 'they're a bit tired' and that the band have performed thirty nights and have another ten night run in Newcastle. Ray admits they don't buy each other presents and says with feeling that his new year's resolution for 1983 is 'not to do it again'. The band are actually on to promote the single 'Nights' inbetween telling bad jokes (Rod: bell ringing is very a-peal-ing!') and confide the heck out of Chegwin who can't get used to the idea that the band members in front him are named Ray Ray and Rod!
22) The Chosen Few Reunion ('Come In' UK TV 1983)
In 1965 a twenty-year-old Hull formed a new band named The Chosen Few with his old school pal Alan Brown on bass as a chance to make a bit of extra money and find a release from the daily grind of the gruelling week of low paid jobs. Other members who came and went included Mickey Gallagher - who later became one of Ian Dury's 'Blockheads' - on piano, drummer Andrew Jackman and a lead vocalist called Rod Hood. Hull was the guitarist and already the band's main composer and the band were good enough to win a prestigious talent competition with Radio Luxemborg. However the band's first two singles released on Pye flopped and talent scout Cyril Stapleton effectively 'fired' the band after one strop too many over the lyrics to Hull's proposed third single. The band fell apart and most of the band didn't see each other again for eighteen years. Reunited for a TV show, what's interesting is how similar the band all look - they all look like rockstars, even the ones who returned to more 'normal' lives! The band perform nice versions of first single 'I Won't Be Round You Anymore' which has a lovely Byrdsy flavour (particularly the more gloomy Gene Clark half of the stage) and second single 'So Much To Look Forward To' which is pure 1964 Beatles! The band turn in a great performance considering the band had been apart for so long and Rod is a particularly fine vocalist in the 'soulful pop' Jacka mould - it's a shame that the reunion didn't last longer than just this one night!
23) Around Midnight ('Day Of The Jackal' 'On The Other Side' 'Malvinas Melody' Alan Hull UK TV 1983)
This performance made the final cut of our TV show despite being technically a 'solo' performance because it's such a fascinating insight into Hull's creative process. The performances of the most controversial and grittiest sounding songs respectively from his 1983 LP 'On The Other Side' are deeply serious, featuring a smartly dressed yet scowling Hull at his most outrageous, the former song coming with footage of what The British were really up to in the Falkland Islands away from the hooray cries of the papers. 'Malvinas' is particularly strong, though all three are well performed. However all this drama and anger contrasts greatly with the softly-spoken and rather shy interview where we see Hull at work in his home studio, slowly watching his songs come together, all of which takes place underneath the giant staring eyes of a cardboard cut-out of John Lennon! Hull talks about writing twenty or thirty songs every year, most of which he throws away for not being good to hear and writing Fog On The Tyne on top of a bus that was stuck waiting at a stop. Hull adds that 'each song has its own inspirational point - could be a TV programme, something from the TV, something somebody said, something from a book or whatever'. Hull talks about never ever wanting to write the words 'I love you' in a song and breaks off to play an early version of his very Paul Weller-ish solo song 'Fly Away'. Hull talks about enjoying Lennon's work best and that after finding the cardboard cut out 'John was the executive producer on this album - there in spirit!'
24) Newcastle City Hall Christmas Eve Concert (UK Concert 1984 'Stormy Weather' 'Living On A Baseline' 'Winter Song' 'Nights' 'I Must Stop Going Parties' 'Run For Home' 'Fog On The Tyne' 'We Can Swing Together')
By the 1980s the Lindisfarne Christmas shows were legendary and had taken place at Newcastle City Hall most years since 1976 - the middle of the 'missing' years. In 1984 Tyne TV, which broadcast only to the North East of England, broadcast the full half hour concert, which is only the third 'complete' show filmed for broadcast by the band. Alas it's rather a scruffy show by their high standards with the City Hall a very echoey venue. However the band throw in a few surprises, including the poverty blues 'Living On A Baseline' which won't be released until 'Buried Treasures II' in 1992 and an exclusive a capella arrangement of 'Nights' that's actually rather good, complete with Rod's comedy bass line and constant 'aaaahs', including a delightful King's Singers style chant in the middle. The concert is worth digging out for this bit alone (it's at the end of 'part one' Youtube fans!) Along the way there's a comedy bit where a ringing phone is brought on stage to invite Jacka to a party while lots of balloons and streamers are thrown on stage and Si and Alan fall asleep back to back, revived by two nurses with a bottle of scotch! (unusually Jacka sings all the verses, not just his closing speech). 'Fog' meanwhile includes a festive improvisation around 'Sleigh Ride' and is an even longer ending than the version on 'Lindisfarntastic' complete with jacka putting on his pompous voice to read out the final verse, while 'We Can Swing Together' ends with a version of 'auld lang syne' with the new Geordified lyrics 'awae the lads!' Surprisingly two of the band's core quartet of hits aren't played tonight: 'Lady Eleanor' and 'Meet Me On The Corner'!
25) Pebble Mill (?) (UK TV 'Shine On' 1986)
Rank outsiders for the Christmas number one at a hundred to one? You know that Lindisfarne are having a troubled decade and to be honest this single isn't one of their more inspired moments despite having something of a festive feel about it. One of the last times to hear the full sweet 'n' sour harmonies line-up together with a song that sounds suspiciously like 'Instant Karma' by Hull hero John Lennon, the band's front line seem a little grumpy in this video though the 'back row' are giving it their all with a special 'dance'. That's new keyboard player Steve Daggett at the back while poor Si has to play up some steps that have appeared on his side of the stage! By the way this is an 'educated guess' that this show is from Pebble Mill - it has that 'feel' about it which readers of a certain age will recognise ('The One Show' meets the 'Shake and Vac' ads from the 1950s).
26) Party Doll (Music Video 1987)
In 1987, with their record sales on the wane, Lindisfarne were getting desperate. Desperate enough to take up the invite to record a speedy 50s hits-heavy rockabilly 'party' album in a hurry. The resulting effort 'C'mon Everybody' is something of a karaoke kamekaze record and generally regarded as something of a mistake - believe it or not tie-in single 'Party Doll' is one of the better moments. This promo video is also one of the band's cheapest and least interesting, although you do get to see the band dressed as 50s rocker complete with greased-back hair and a house full of party guests. Along the way Jacka gets a kiss from an extra he's clearly not expecting and Si is particularly, erm, merry!
27) Do It Like This (Music Video 1989)
Lindisfarne's last music video is a retro-rocker from the 'Amigoes' album that's most notable for being the first without Jacka in the band. Hull is on great form keeping a straight face on this song about a pair of newlyweds while the band try and do everything they can to put him off - 'Never thought I would be a teenage bride' he sighs while a grinning Ray Laidlaw forces himself into shot! Somebody off camera throws Hully a broom in time for the 'married' verse ('Clean up the kitchen! Put out the trash for the rag man!') while the band are seen doing some very odd dancing up and own a flight of stairs and synchronising their pint drinking at a local pub! It's all very Lindisfarne, thinly poised between comedy and tragedy throughout in which everyone seems to be having fun - even poor Si who being the smallest member is made to stand at the front of the crowd scenes and gets shaken by Hull something rotten! (oddly enough he mimes the keyboard part on this track, played by Hull on the record). One minus point through - whoever made the 'mock up' graffiti on the wall behind the band spelt Alan with two 'L's not one! (As a fellow Alan with one 'L' I notice these things!) Sadly and shockingly this appears to be Hull's last filmed appearance with the band he'd led for so long before his untimely death from a heart attack in 1994 at the age of just fifty.
28) North-East News (''Walk A Crooked Mile' UK TV 1996)
'Alan wrote some of the best songs in the whole world and I'm so proud to be able to sing some of them'. The world's first glimpse of a post-Hull line-up came with an appearance on local TV. Rod admits that Hull's death was a 'shock' but 'they've got to carry on somehow' and he and Mitch talk about how well and how long they've known each other. The band turn in a moving performance of one of Hull's last songs from his unfinished 'Statues and Liberties' album in unplugged form within the TV studios. Mitch sounds good singing this song and the material fits the sound like a glove. Lindisfarne are re-born! Over the fade a teary Rod adds that 'Lindisfarne without Alan is a strange concept to swallow, but he quite often used to stand at the side of the stage with a big smile of his face and the thought of doing less work for the same money appealed to him! When we've been rehearsing In my mind's eye I've seen him with a smile on his face willing us to get on with it!' Sniff!
And that really is it - till next week anyway when we'll be covering more Lindisfarne with the first part of a run-down of their live, solo, compilation and rarities albums. See you then!
Note: Usually we follow up our AAA articles on surviving TV clips with a rundown of the best bootlegs of a particular band. However that's proved to be rather difficult with Lindisfarne - their bootlegs are few and far between anyway and almost everything of worth has been released by the band as part of their three-part 'Buried Treasures' outtake series anyway now (1992, 1992 and 1999 released respectively). There are however a few recordings fans might want to keep their eyes peeled for: a rather fine recording of a gig at the Ultrasonic Studio in New York in November 1972 and broadcast on US radio that's even more wonderfully ramshackle/electric than the 'Lindisfarne Live' show of a year earlier and features a breathless three-way performance of 'All Fall Down > Plankton's Lament > Bring Down The Government, rare performances of 'O No Not Again' and 'Go Back' and one of the most exquisite 'Lady Eleanor's out there (only 'Poor Old Ireland' from these shows have ever been released - on 'Buried Treasure 3' - no surprise given that it's a great rendition of this song too). In addition there's a slightly less essential early reunion gig from Newcastle City Hall in 1976 (two years before 'Magic In The Air' with an especially good 'Alan In The River With Flowers') and another Christmas Newcastle gig from 1980 (with an early version of Hull's solo song 'Love In A Cage'). Studio-wise there's an interesting early Si Cowe song 'Positive Earth' as arranged by Brethren, and two outtakes from the 'Back and Fourth' sessions in 1978 - a poorly recorded but nicely sung rehearsal take of 'Woman' and an early and rather ragged take of 'Marshall Riley's Army'. Otherwise that's your lot I'm afraid (and hopefully there'll be a 'Buried Treasures Volume Four' out anyway...)