Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Rod Clements 68, Singer, Songwriter, Musician

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Rod Clements 68, Singer, Songwriter, Musician

Article excerpt

The last couple of years Ray Jackson (Jacka) had taken the band back to the City Hall. It was very much a recreation of the Lindisfarne Christmas shows in their 80s heyday. I went to the first one in 2013. It was really good.

They were a great band, that was the main thing. I'd worked with them all over the years anyway, apart from (former Roxy Music drummer) Paul Thompson who I knew of, of course with his fantastic pedigree.

I got a phone call in January from Ian (Thomson, bass player) who was at a band meeting without Jacka because he'd just retired, asking me if I would join.

It was absolutely the last thing I expected but I was extremely flattered and felt honoured to be asked.

I felt very positive about the invitation and everyone I spoke to just said 'go for it'.

They're a great bunch of guys. Of course I knew them all - apart from Paul - before, but not in that combination. They work together really well and there's a very strong feeling that we're all pulling in the same direction.

Mostly we've done biggish outdoor events this year.

We did one in Yorkshire alongside Status Quo. We did a fantastic one in Wiltshire, organised by Paul McCartney's soundman, which is held in aid of Rock Against Cancer. We were on the bill with Squeeze, The Animals, Sweet, Howard Jones. A bunch of people from similar vintage if you like.

We had the Christmas dates reserved at the City Hall, and so we thought we might as well go for it.

Apparently Jacka did away with the hats last year, but we're bringing them back along with a few more Christmas trimmings.

The Christmas concerts were tremendously enjoyable. It was a tradition for us too.

We were on the road so much in the early 70s - we always wanted to come home for Christmas so we asked the agent if they would make our last date of the year in Newcastle.

At one point, we were up to about 10 nights straight at the City Hall, and even then we found the demand was outstripping that.

I think it was about 1990/1991 when we did the last of the Christmas concerts.

I love playing solo but I'd forgotten how much I loved playing in a band as well. …

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