Jack the Lad

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, Ian '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. 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.

Cowe left shortly before the group recorded their final album, 'Jackpot', (1976). Closer to pop and rock territory than its predecessors, it featured Andy Bown on keyboards, and a brass section on some tracks. But chart success still eluded them, and they disbanded soon afterwards. Lindisfarne had split in early 1975 but Clements, Cowe and Laidlaw continued to join founder members Alan Hull and Ray Jackson to play Christmas concerts in their native Newcastle-on-Tyne each year, and the response was so positive in 1977 that the original five reformed the following year.

Cowe left Lindisfarne in 1993, while Mitchell joined the band in 1996 after the death of Hull. He, Clements and Laidlaw remained members until they disbanded for the last time in 2003.

External links

* [http://www.lindisfarne.de/jtl Jack the Lad website]
* [http://www.billymitchell.co.uk/ Billy Mitchell]

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Jack the lad — noun A flashy, cocksure young man • • • Main Entry: ↑jack * * * Jack the Lad UK US noun [singular] british informal a young man who thinks he is attractive to women and behaves in a way that is thought to be typical of a young man who is not… …   Useful english dictionary

  • jack the lad — A confident and not very serious young man who behaves as he wants to without thinking about other people is a Jack the Lad …   The small dictionary of idiomes

  • Jack the Lad — ► NOUN informal ▪ a brash, cocky young man. ORIGIN nickname of Jack Sheppard, 18th century thief …   English terms dictionary

  • Jack the Lad — n [singular] BrE spoken a young man who enjoys drinking alcohol and going out with his male friends, and who thinks he is sexually attractive …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • Jack-the-lad — n British an individual who is cleverer, more successful, more attractive than the rest. Originating in the working class lan guage of Liverpool and the surrounding area, the phrase had spread to the rest of Britain by the mid 1980s, probably due …   Contemporary slang

  • jack the lad — noun An irresponsible young man, seeking personal pleasure without regard to responsibilities. A rogue. You seem to think youre a bit of a jack the lad, dont you? …   Wiktionary

  • Jack-the-lad — • a term usually applied to a young man who is flash and rebellious. Often used to describe a careless driver, i.e.. He s a right Jack the lad in his car …   Londonisms dictionary

  • Jack the Lad — noun Brit. informal a brash, cocky young man. Origin nickname of Jack Sheppard, 18th cent. thief …   English new terms dictionary

  • Jack-the-Lad — n. Brit., informal a brash, cocky young man Origin: nickname of Jack Sheppard, an 18th cent. thief …   Useful english dictionary

  • Jack the Lad — noun (singular) BrE spoken a young man who enjoys drinking beer and going out with his male friends, and who thinks he is sexually attractive …   Longman dictionary of contemporary English

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