By Simon Wilkinson
Former Lindisfarne hit-maker Rod Clements returned to the Halifax Square Chapel theatre reprising songs from a catalogue that began over 45 years ago in Tyneside pubs and folk clubs.
By penning a number of songs including Train In G Major and the Top 5 hit Meet Me On The Corner, Clements helped influence the emerging British folk–rock scene as Lindisfarne rose to fame and international acclaim in the early ‘70s.
Today, touring more intimate settings, he plays to crowds who still clamour for the rags and reminders of his prolific talent. He remains the consummate songwriter whose lyrics continue to be inspired by the people and events around him.
Occasionally quirky, always incisive and thought-provoking, Clements seldom strays far from his roots, singing ruefully of the hardships endured by coal mining communities in his north-east heartland.
An accomplished performer with a gloriously self-deprecating style, Rod Clements seamlessly blends his old songs with more recent material. He is utterly compelling on guitar with sensual slide skills blended effortlessly with fingers that flicker over the frets through a range of complex chords.
Pausing obsessively to retune his strings, Clements talks candidly about his personal life especially the key events that shaped his musical crusade. He graciously acknowledges Ian Thomson, a talented, inscrutable double bassist with whom he shares the stage.
With a new double CD out next year, Rod Clements is likely to embark on a promotional tour. When he does, a viewing of this prodigious performer comes highly recommended.