HAVING been around since the Seventies you would be forgiven for expecting a Lindisfarne audience to be of a certain generation.

But as the band responsible for classics such as Lady Eleanor, Meet Me On The Corner and Run For Home, prepare for a headline appearance at the Great British Rhythm and Blues Festival at the end of the month, founder member Rod Clements won’t be surprised to see plenty of younger faces in the crowd.

“I think the resurgence in interest in roots type music has certainly helped,” he said. “I think there has been a reaction to the over-produced stuff which is so prevalent and that has gained a younger following for us. Younger people are more turned on by roots music, by real music if I can call it that.”



Another factor is Lindisfarne’s championing by one of the biggest artists around currently, Sam Fender, who made a documentary on the band for the BBC.

“It was a really good piece of work,” said Rod. “He’s very humble in a way; quite a self-effacing guy. He knows what he has achieved and he’s proud of that which is fine but he has got a kind of humility about him; he’s very well grounded.

“He’s not just someone who has won a talent show; he’s paid his dues with his band who are his mates, a lot like we were in that respect. He’s coming from a good place.”

The ‘Fender effect’ may well have helped bring in a new audience, but Rod also believes the accessibility of music has helped.

“It’s so easy now to track things down which is great,” he said. “I remember growing up and getting into the blues having to search things out. You’d have to go to a specialist record shop and go through the racks to see if you could find anything by these artists you’d only just heard of.

“It was a journey of discovery in its own right but now you can just find obscure tracks straight away which is fantastic.”



Formed by a bunch of mates in the North East, Lindisfarne became one of the most popular bands around in the early 70s with albums such as Nicely Out of Tune, Fog on the Tyne - the biggest selling UK album in 1972 and Dingly Dell.

But it came at a price. The constant touring and pressure from the record company for albums saw the band part ways. Various line-up changes saw Lindisfarne resume touring and recording and they have been making music on and off ever since.

“I think now we’ve achieved a happy balance,” said Rod. “We are self managed, we don’t have a record company breathing down our necks. We work at a level we want to. It’s mostly centered around weekends, when the best gigs we want to do are available. We no longer get on a coach and wave bye-bye to our families for two months any more like we used to. Then it just becomes Groundhog Day.

“We probably work two or three days every couple of week. It’s like going away with your mates for a break and playing good music at the same time.”

With such an impressive back catalogue, putting together a setlist could prove a problem.

“We have a core repertoire of the biggies, the ones we always play like No Time to Lose, Fog on the Tyne, Meet Me on the Corner - all that sort of stuff,” said Rod. “But the middle bit of the show is kind of up for grabs. We are lucky that we have such a lot of songs.



“But when you play live it’s very much a two-way process. It’s what comes back from the audience that the band feeds off. Certainly that’s the case with us and kind of music that I like.

“Some bands go on and do a show and it’s exactly the same wherever they do it or whoever is there. But that’s not us, we can’t do that and the fans don’t want us to do that.”

Rod is relishing the chance to play at the Colne festival.

“Festivals are great as you get to play to a new audience every time,” he said. “Some of them will know us already and for others we might even be reason why they have gone but you will always get people who just happen to be in our audience and if you can turn them on to your music then that’s great.”

The Great British R&B Festival runs from Friday, August 26 to Sunday, August 28 at various venues in Colne. Lindisfarne play Pendle Hippodrome on the opening night. Details from www.colneblueslineup.com