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LINDISFARNE "Untapped & Acoustic" Park Records PRKCD43

I probably haven't listened to a Lindisfarne track or performance since first time round in the early Seventies, when I admit to enjoying the ethereal "Lady Eleanor". And I seem to have managed so far to have missed the band's resurgence on the folk festival scene. So I'll own up right now - I went straight to "Lady Eleanor". And I wasn't disappointed. It gets a far more robust treatment than the original, which is no bad thing in these more cynical times, so it works really well. After all, what's ethereal about a power-driven saw?

The album is the band's first recording since the sudden death in 1995 of co-founder Alan Hull, recorded during a short acoustic tour, and is not just a moving tribute to Hull's songwriting skills. It's also a testament to the band's continuing ability as performers - rooted in tradition but hell bent on entertainment. It was originally intended to be available at concerts only, but has now been released, following the success of the 1997 studio album "Here Comes The Neighbourhood".

A limited edition double pack is available with an EP "Blues From The Bothy", containing unreleased tracks from the Neighbourhood sessions. There are three Rod Clements songs here and a tune by Dave Denholm, all slide guitars, whistles and more than a hint that they'll get by without Hull. It's what he would have wanted.

Graham Gurrin

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This album was reviewed in Issue 34 of The Living Tradition magazine.