Friday, November 10, 2006

Jack the Lad

"The Old Straight Track" 1974

Jack The Lad were a folk-rock group from north-east England formed in 1973 by three former members of Lindisfarne - Rod Clements (bass, violin, guitar, vocals), Simon Cowe (guitar, mandolin, banjo, vocals), and Ray Laidlaw (drums), with Billy Mitchell (guitar, banjo, vocals). They had originally thought of calling themselves The Corvettes, but decided it would make them sound too much like a rock'n'roll revival outfit, and instead took their name from a phrase that Status Quo had used when they and Lindisfarne were touring Australia together earlier that year.

The first line-up of Jack The Lad recorded one album, 'It's Jack The Lad', released in 1974, and two singles, 'One More Dance' (1973), and 'Why Can't I Be Satisfied' (1974). Neither charted, though they received positive reviews for their records and live performances. While Lindisfarne without them had become a harder rocking outfit, Jack The Lad retained much of the folksy spirit, warmth and good humour of the original group. Though his talents had previously been overshadowed by the more prolific songsmith Alan Hull, Clements, who had penned Lindisfarne's first hit single 'Meet Me On The Corner', continued to write most of their material, which in the view of some fans and critics was the equal of anything Lindisfarne produced at around the same time. They also remained more true to their traditional influences, not least by including an 8-minute medley of traditional jigs, reels and polkas on their first album, which staked a claim to their being in part a Geordie answer to Fairport Convention and others of that ilk.

Clements left in late 1974 and was replaced by two former members of folk-rock band Hedgehog Pie, Walter Fairbairn (guitar, mandolin, violin, banjo, vocals) and Phil Murray (bass, vocals). The second album 'The Old Straight Track' (1974) was voted Folk Album of the Year by Melody Maker.

"Rough Diamonds" 1975

The third album 'Rough Diamonds' and single 'Gentleman Soldier' (both 1975) were both produced by Fairport Convention stalwart Simon Nicol. The latter, which featured John Kirkpatrick on button accordion, was a gem - a new arrangement of a traditional song which borrowed the vocal four-part harmony break from 'Twist And Shout' for the introduction, and featured a Scottish accordion reel back to back with a mock-heavy rock guitar solo. Presenter John Peel chose it as one of his favourite singles of the year.

Lindisfarne's Ray Jackson does appear as a guest, playing harp on the opening cut, and he was the one that contributed the cover artwork. Basically, this album is a mixture of very catchy Lindisfarne-style sing-along folk songs and the traditional sounding heavy folk rock of the second album. The songwriting is some of their strongest, and the album comes very close to capturing the spirit of the first couple of Lindisfarne albums.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

hi great site

having trouble downloading since you put links in the comment section. can you go back to the way you were doing it or explain the best way to go.

11 November, 2006 02:34  
Blogger Lizardson said...

Then, can you see this?

You can go to this page by click the time of this post.
(click this-->6:32PM 2comments [TOP][HOME])

11 November, 2006 03:50  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

sorry to appear stupid
I can see everything fine....the problem is getting the link to rapidshare for downloading. any help will be appreciated.


11 November, 2006 04:05  
Blogger Lizardson said...

Here are links.
Gerry Rafferty
Dick Heckstall-Smith
Formerly Fat Harry
Folk och Rackare
McGough & McGear
Shide & Acorn
Jack the Lad 74
Jack the Lad 75
Peter Bellamy 1
Peter Bellamy 2
Peter Bellamy 3

11 November, 2006 04:35  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for those direct links, have the same problem and do not really know how to solve them. Always good stuff on your site..., thanks again...

13 November, 2006 13:12  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for these albums. Lindisfarne were always a favourite of mine, so it's good to hear this stuff too.

21 March, 2009 17:33  

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