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In 1970 Rod Clements and Alan Hull formed iconic band, Lindisfarne, who, this past week, have celebrated forty years of festive fun at Newcastle City Hall.
The internationally acclaimed, folk-rock band have performed over a hundred shows at the venue they proudly call home with it being that connected to the band now that, in 2012, Newcastle’s Lord Mayor unveiled a commemorative plaque in honour of the late Alan Hull.
“We’ve played some great shows and met some great people, some of whom last saw the band in the seventies so (the City Hall) is the perfect place to end what’s been a successful 2016, at our spiritual home,” began Clements.
“Next year, we’ve already got a few, big festivals lined up including the New Day Festival in Kent. There’s still plenty of old songs to play as well which the audience relates to.
“As for the band itself, we’ve a fluid, constant line-up for which I’m both the oldest, and newest member (he co-founded the band and re-joining in 2015 after a twelve year absence).
“Ray Jackson asked me to come back and it’s great, everyone has a long connection to Lindisfarne, as do the fans so, if you’ve not seen us for a few years now is certainly the time to come back as we’re better than ever.”
Lindisfarne may be the old hands but the future is in grand young ones with Tom Mouse Smith making an incredible name for himself.
With a cult following in tens of thousands the 12-year-old star has performed on big stages as support for Shed Seven, James Bay, and Catfish and the Bottlemen. Father, Andrew, said: “He (Tom) has a very busy year coming up.
“With lots of exciting festivals to be announced, including his own headline at the Surfcafe in Tynemouth on January 28.”
Another looking at an exciting year is country singer-songwriter, Chloe Chadwick. Already with several, high-profile outings on Tyneside lined up in the first quarter of 2017 she’ll be releasing a single, Love will find a Way, ahead of an album launch, Dustbowl Jukebox, shortly after.
Ms Chadwick has many reasons to smile saying: “Personally, I class myself as Americana but I’m still pushing the country genre.
“There’s lots of different acts coming from America and selling out over here, there’s a market for it and the sound is definitely getting noticed.”
Her first major outing will be at The Porters in Tynemouth, supporting US Grammy award nominee, Jeff Finlin, as she looks to build on the success of the past twelve months.
“I’ve had country feelings in me and learnt a lot about myself when I went on a mini-tour earlier this year. The upcoming album represents some of that, it represents the crazy, whirlwind life I’ve had in the industry whilst the jukebox is the collective mix of music I’ve written over the years not categorised into one genre.”
Numerous other females making waves include Jodie Fitzgibbon and The She Wolf Project making their indifference of noise, the stunning duo of Beth Macari and Abi Garrido bringing their own style and panache, and Sandy Smith becoming something of a risk-taker.
Then you’ve got Bea Garcia (Twist Helix), Caroline Pallister (Front Street), and Olivia Morley (as duet, JustSo, with The Longsands guitarist, David Stanyer) making impressions.
A former West End star, performing in Sunday Night Live and Chicago, in her “younger days,” Sandy is taking a leap of faith with her drummer partner, soon beating out a band, Sands of Time, thanks in no small part to a man she calls “my sidekick and confidante.”
“I’ve a passion and love for it with the joy coming from theatre to performing anything from ballads to sounds from the fifties to the present day.
“Next year though I’m performing abroad before returning in the winter as I take the plunge and just go for it. If I don’t do it now I never will.”
Of those nominated for Ubeat awards recently included Beth Macari (winner of best music video for Voodoo) and Abi Garrido.
The distinct, unmistakable Macari certainly had a year to remember including performing at the South Tyneside summer festival whilst continuing to write new material in the run-up to Christmas, something she’ll look at continuing next year saying: “I’ve started doing more singing teaching and next year is going to be all about the music, showing people who I am and what my voice is.
“There’ll certainly be lots of time spent in the studio, touring, and some really good collaborations on the cards.”
Pop-Rn’B starlet, and former X Factor contest, the sultry Abi Garrido, an ambassador for Metro Radio, is looking at bigger things in the new year having spent the current one gigging and maintaining a following.
She added: “I’m looking at releasing a single early in the year, then possibly an album later on whilst writing my own material.
“I’ve got people interested as well but there’s big decisions to make and I want to try and go everywhere I can, even abroad again, and sing.”
At Twist Helix, drummer James Walker, alongside Bea Garcia and bassist Michael Humble, recently announced a minimum ten-date tour beginning in London and taking in The Cluny, Newcastle, on January 21.
They’ve plans to release a second album adding to their debut, Manifesto, along with a darker, electronic-based single being released prior.
The She Wolf Project, consisting of Jodie Fitzgibbon, Ami Vaziri, Chaz Hall and Donya Ramak. Are an all-female fusion band returning after a brief, personal break working on individual projects.
“Everything is slowly coming together and we’re all writing original material which we’ll look at next year,” said Jodie.
“We’re all really good writers and could release an EP now if we wanted to but the main aim is to establish our name and create more of a following.”
Other bands see that of The Skapones and JustSo, The Heavily Brothers and Front Street making noise.
“We’re currently writing a self-titled album which is scheduled for release in October next year having had a great one this time around,” Stanyer said of JustSo.
“We’ve performed at Northumberland Live and Chester-le-Street FakeFest and we’ll look at hitting the festival scene again next year to promote the release of our debut album.”
Whereas Caroline Pallister and Front Street are looking to: “Create a definitive logo and branding to use across social media and advertising,” she said.
“Recently we’ve been in the studio recording a demo CD which will hopefully introduce other venues to us with the aim throughout 2017 to keep a regular slot at The Crown and Crossed Swords in Shotley Bridge, also finding additional venues who really appreciate original music written by a talented local artist.”
The Skapones and The Heavily Brothers are a flashback to a bygone era in musical genres with the former looking at releasing a new single and album, of original content, including a tour of Germany and France later on amongst other festivals ensuring they continue to go from strength-to-strength, performing in Darlington (21) and Stockton (28) in January; whilst the latter just enjoy the music having been going since the sixties in various guises now performing at the Whitby Pirates Day and charitable events before looking at a summer album release of their own.