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Lindisfarne founding member Rod Clements on the band’s origins, returning to Lavenham and why he will never retire



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Folk-rockers Lindisfarne are hitting the road and starting their next tour very soon.

Proud Newcastle natives, the band first came to fame during the 1970s with their songs Run for Home, Meet Me On The Corner, Lady Eleanor and Fog On The Tyne.

We spoke to founding member Rod Clements about their upcoming live dates which includes a trip to Lavenham’s Air Theatre on Saturday, August 6.

Lindisfarne are coming to Lavenham very soon. Picture: Gren Sowerby
Lindisfarne are coming to Lavenham very soon. Picture: Gren Sowerby

He said he’s looking forward to playing again with the band.

“We always have a great time and that’s why we do it really,” he said. “It’s just like going away for the weekend with your mates and playing some music.”

Rod always played music whilst growing up. As a teenager, he constantly found himself ‘picking up guitars and having a go’.

Rod Clements is excited to be playing shows again. Picture: Lindisfarne
Rod Clements is excited to be playing shows again. Picture: Lindisfarne

During the 1960s, he and his friends were heavily influenced by the guitar-based music of the time. The Shadows, Duane Eddy and The Rolling Stones inspired Rod to start his own band towards the end of the decade.

They went on to play acoustic blues in the folk clubs of Tyneside. In these clubs, Irish folk music was very popular and Rod said this traditional genre influenced the band’s future.

“The Irish songs were immediately accessible,” he said. “You just hear them once and you can somewhat sing along.

The current band line-up consists of Rod Clements, Dave Hull-Denholm, Steve Daggett, Ian Thomson and Paul Smith. Picture: Lindisfarne
The current band line-up consists of Rod Clements, Dave Hull-Denholm, Steve Daggett, Ian Thomson and Paul Smith. Picture: Lindisfarne

“This idea really influenced our music, especially our songwriting, and all these more traditional songs had great choruses and really told a story.”

Amongst the thriving folk club scene, Clements and company were then introduced to prolific songwriter, Alan Hull.

He died in 1995 but his legacy remains prevalent in the current lineup’s performances.

The band is formed of Rod Clements, Dave Hull-Denholm, Steve Daggett, Ian Thomson and Paul Smith.

Rod said: “Everyone in the current band has had a long history with Lindisfarne.

“This goes beyond just who is on stage too as our agent and crew were all found through friends and people we know.

“It’s all very organic. We’ve never had to search far to find our team - no one has ever auditioned to be in Lindisfarne. We’ve been lucky to know somebody and it always works out.”

Rod added that he has fond memories of visiting Suffolk over the years as Lindisfarne had played in the village twice before.

He said: “Both times we played were sold out gigs and everyone in the audience was really friendly.

“We stayed in town both times and were very well looked after. In fact, a lady from a shop across the square gave each of us a Lavenham tea towel to take home.”

To see Lindisfarne performing in Lavenham, you can purchase tickets from www.oeplive.com.

As Rod is the only original member to remain playing in the band, our conversation swayed towards a looming question of future retirement.

To this, he replied with laughter: “I have no intention of ever retiring.

“I hope to keep going for as long as possible, but if time takes its toll or whatever and I can’t play with Lindisfarne - I’ll still carry on playing if I can. I will never retire from being a musician.”