WE CAN SWING TOGETHER – The Life Story of LINDISFARNE, by John Van Der Kiste. Published by Fonthill Media. (www.fonthillmedia.com) £16.99. Softback.

When singer-songwriter Alan Hull joined the band Brethren in 1969, soon to be re-named Lindisfarne one year later, no-one could have foreseen that the name would still be instantly recognised forty years later. From their origins in the beat and folk boom of their teenage years, they swiftly won a reputation as one of Britain’s most popular live band.
The Newcastle band’s remarkable successes ranged from ‘Run For Home’, their best-selling single, ‘We Can Swing Together’, and ‘Meet Me On The Corner.’ Their chart-topping second album, Fog on the Tyne, first released in 1971, notched up sales of over 300,000.
Musical differences led to the group’s founding members – Ray Jackson, Rod Clements, Ray Laidlaw, Si Cowe and Alan Hull – going their separate ways in 1973 and disbanding two years later. But in 1976, they re-united for a ‘one-off’ Christmas Concert at City Hall, Newcastle. Originally to be a two night concert, ticket sales prompted the band to stage two further performances and all sold out. This began a series of hugely successful annual Christmas Concerts in their native city.
They achieved a long-held ambition when they played at St. James’s Park in 1984. Ray Jackson recalled that when they heard that tickets for a Bob Dylan concert were not selling well, they contacted his tour promoter and told him that if Lindisfarne played as a support act they would add 10,000 ticket sales – and they did. Dylan played to an audience of 30,000.
Lindisfarne’s most gifted songwriter, Alan Hull, died aged 50 from a massive heart attack in 1995, but the band continued to perform with various changes to its line-up until 2003, dispersed again and then reformed in 2013.