This offshoot of UK folk rock outfit Lindisfarne, comprising Billy Mitchell (guitar/vocals; ex-Callies), Simon Cowe (guitar/vocals), Ray Laidlaw (drums) and Rod Clements (bass), was formed in 1973. The quartet recorded some rock ‘n’ jig material with Maddy Prior’s vocals, before Clements left for session and production work. Ian Walter Fairburn (fiddle) and Phil Murray (bass; also Doonan Family Band and Hedghog Pie) were recruited for The Old Straight Track, a song cycle of ‘Geordie’ electric folk songs. After the failure of this somewhat experimental project, the band returned to philosophical good time material, and, in 1976, signed for United Artists Records. Cowe assisted in the preparation of Jackpot, but had left before the band recorded the dense, commercial album, which was produced by Tom Allom. Despite having a loyal cult following on the college and club circuit, Jack The Lad disbanded shortly after Laidlaw’s departure to Radiator, playing a few farewell gigs with Eric Green on drums. In 1993, after several CD releases, and Lindisfarne’s impending 25th anniversary, Jack The Lad re-formed in two forms: the original band, and as a festival act which included Mitchell, Fairburn and Murray.
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