LINDISFARNE singer Ray Jackson is to play Newcastle’s City Hall in a bid to save the under-threat venue.
The charismatic Wallsend-born frontman will entertain crowds at a Christmas show on December 23.
The vocalist, who also played harmonica and mandolin, last performed with Lindisfarne 20 years ago.
His Christmas show will be a one-off recreation of Lindisfarne’s 1970s glory days. Ray will take the audience through the group’s four albums: Nicely Out of Tune, Dingly Dell, Fog On The Tyne and Back and Fourth.
2City Hall is among the dozens of facilities Newcastle City Council is reviewing as it tries to axe £100m from its budget.
Ray, who hopes other members of Lindisfarne will join his show, said: “A huge effort will go into this event and into ensuring that the audience enjoy the wonderful Newcastle City Hall Christmas show party atmosphere.
“When I heard that the future of the City Hall was uncertain, I realised how much I wanted to do this just one more time for the original Lindisfarne fans and their children, and perhaps even their grandchildren.
“There was just one necessity for me and that was I needed Barry McKay to promote it as he is the only promoter to replicate the event that he originally created. The Christmas shows were more than concerts they were a seasonal event and one of Newcastle’s Christmas highlights.
“I have not performed a Christmas show in Newcastle for 20 years and Barry has not promoted shows anywhere for quarter of a century.
“The City Hall was mine and Alan (Hull’s) favourite venue, Newcastle audiences are the best in the world.”
Peter Brennan, City Hall manager, said: “When Ray Jackson walked on to the stage back in 2005 towards the end of The Hull Story memorial concert, the response from the City Hall audience nearly lifted the roof off. When I saw Ray Jackson performing outside the City Hall last July at the memorial plaque unveiling, I told Barry McKay that Ray should be performing inside, on the City Hall stage at Christmas and wondered if this could be a possibility.”
Lindisfarne’s former manager Barry McKay is also promoting the show.
He said: “Planning a one-off three-hour show is quite a task for everyone involved and I’m thrilled to be the honorary promoter. For me this is a labour of love. I just want to be there with my family.”
You will find tickets for the show on sale at 0191 277 8030 or through the venue’s website http://newcastlecityhall.org/