Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

'Simon Was Instrumental to Our Sound' as Ray Laidlaw and Billy Mitchell Prepare to Return to Sage Gateshead to Retell the Lindisfarne Story through a Mixture of Music, Recollection and Unheard Anecdotes, Ray Takes Time out to Share Some Special Memories of Fellow Founder Member Simon Cowe, Who Passed Away in Canada in September

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

'Simon Was Instrumental to Our Sound' as Ray Laidlaw and Billy Mitchell Prepare to Return to Sage Gateshead to Retell the Lindisfarne Story through a Mixture of Music, Recollection and Unheard Anecdotes, Ray Takes Time out to Share Some Special Memories of Fellow Founder Member Simon Cowe, Who Passed Away in Canada in September

Article excerpt

One of the things about Simon was that he was probably a bit undervalued by the punters, who possibly didn't realise what a big part he had to play in everything.

Really in lots of ways, the unique element in our sound... a huge amount of that came from him. He never played the obvious thing. He always came at things from a different angle.

His arrangements and instrumentation were always a bit unusual. An example would be in Run For Home. There's a very highpitched guitar line which chimes all the way through it. It's not up front but it's there and it's very atmospheric. That was all Simon experimenting with different guitar tunings.

He was also very much responsible for the vocal harmonies. A lot of the time, he would arrange them, and if you took his voice away from them, it didn't really sound like Lindisfarne.

As a person too, he was very quirky in lots of ways. They always had pet rabbits wandering around the house. He never put them in a hutch.

Me and him met when I was about 13, when he was still at boarding school, his mam and dad were quite posh. I didn't see him at all in term time. Just school holidays.

His mam died when he was 15, and from then on, he was pretty much self-sufficient. His father didn't cope with it very well and also he was a different generation. He was rarely there and they had a housekeeper.

I think that affected him all his life. He was always very independent.

When he bought his first house in London, it was one of those houses which was built on a slope. He decided to knock the downstairs into flats to rent out because the house was too big for him. He just got a book from the library about how to rebuild a house. He rewired it all... did everything himself.

He was wonderful. He always had some wacky new record he'd got from somewhere or other - totally alien from the mainstream. He liked the things that we liked, but he also liked things we'd never heard of.

We met back up when we were 16 or 17. He'd been in London working as a commis chef in the RAC club or something. He'd come back and was working at Turner's as a trainee photographer. …

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