A history of Lindisfarne - Part III: 1988-2003
As the band tour Italy, it is decided the new album should be 'back to basics', revisiting the band's acoustic roots. The result, Amigos, wasissued by the Northumbrian Black Crow label. Steve Daggett bows out. Later in the year Steve Cunningham is taken on board on bass to allow Rod to take a more prominent guitar role.
Ray Jackson leaves Lindisfarne.
A collaboration with footballer Paul Gascoigne produced a top three single with a reworked version of Fog On The Tyne.
Old pal Brendan Healy also helps briefly during a Far Eastern tour in 1991. Temporary female backing vocals were provided by Liz Wilson and Amanda Charles-Vincent around this period.
Kenny Craddock takes the producers chair and a musical role for Elvis Lives on The Moon.
Si Cowe, who has has an interest in a microbrewery business over in Canada, emigrates. The band are now reduced to Alan, Ray Laidlaw, Rod, and Marty.
Post ‘Elvis’ two newcomers arrive, namely Ian Thomson (bass) - ex Coal Porters / Archie Brown/ Arthur Two Stroke, and Dave Denholm (guitar) - ex Cunningham (yes, the same!), Proud, Denholm. Dave had worked as a guitar roadie for the group before he was asked to join the band, at first only for a few numbers on stage, but his position soon became permanent! Dave was later destined to marry Alan's youngest daughter Francesca.
On 17th November 1995 the sudden death of James Alan Hull is announced.
The decision to continue as a band is taken almost immediately and a live album is released, featuring the new/old permanent member Billy Mitchell on vocals and strings.
An Alan Hull CD Statues & Liberties is released posthumously in 1996 (ironically on the Transatlantic label – Alan had started out with them as a solo artist in 1969). The excellence of the finished product is due in no small part to the expertise of Dave Hull-Denholm and Frankie Gibbon.
The four track CD single Blues From The Bothy is released in 1997; the following year heralds a new Lindisfarne studio album Here Comes The Neighbourhood.
In June 2000 Marty leaves and is founder member of a new musical trio The Happy Cats. Rod releases a solo album Stamping Ground closely followed by release on CD of a previous cassette-only album One Track Mind.
2002 heralds the release of another studio album Promenade, which earned enthusiastic reviews. During the summer, circumstances dictate that the band streamlines temporarily as Lindisfarne Acoustic - a three piece set consisting of Dave, Rod and Billy. It is successful, and they release a live Acoustic CD in time for their American tour. Also in this year comes news of the untimely death of Kenny Craddock.
All good things come to an end, and during the 2003 autumn tour it is announced with short notice that Lindisfarne is to disband. Their final gig was played to a packed Newcastle Opera House on the 1st. of November, the whole of which was captured on DVD, video and CD as Time Gentlemen Please.
Lindisfarne Acoustic honour their commitments and would tour on until their last gig on the 17th. May 2004, at Chesham near London.
All however is not lost! Dave, Ian & Rod continue in their own right as The Ghosts Of Electricity (Rod gigging solo as well); Billy continues touring, while Ray (still making an occasional appearance with the drums) is heavily involved in film and media production. To quote Derek Walmsley:
'Lindisfarne is dead- long live Lindisfarne!'
Charles Orr & Mike Clayton, August 2004