Lindisfarne’s Rod Clements – a Coquetdale Creative for almost 50 years

Probably the most famous musical Coquetdale Creative, Rod Clements – the sole remaining founder member of folk legends Lindisfarne – has lived in the Valley for nearly 50 years.

By Katie Scott
Tuesday, 2nd July 2019, 2:45 am
Updated Saturday, 6th July 2019, 7:14 pm
Rod Clements.
Rod Clements.

“I’m even considered a local, I think!” Although he was raised in North Shields, the family had a cottage in Whitton for generations.

Being taken as a child to hear concerts at Newcastle City Hall, and to theatre performances by his dad, kindled Rod’s interest in performance, in words and in music.

Although fascinated by music and theatre himself, Rod’s father had hoped his son would follow his career in Law.

But Rod was busy teaching himself to play the guitar and write songs. He was far more interested in poetry and music than law. His parents made a deal with him – gain a degree and we will agree to your career choice. Rod completed a general arts degree at Durham.

In his final year he was made Social Secretary, so got to book bands (especially his own) and learned about this aspect of the music industry.

After university Rod worked hard, had many adventures, met many famous musicians and became an internationally renowned singer-songwriter himself.

Locally, in the 1980s, Rod and other musicians began getting together to play in Coquetdale pubs.

In 2001, when Terry Wilson and Bill Brown took over the Queens Head, they asked Rod to make it a more formal, monthly event. And this was the beginning of the much-acclaimed Rothbury Roots.

To begin with Rod managed to persuade Kathryn Tickell to perform.

She brought along some students, and before long Rothbury Roots developed into an incredibly diverse and immensely popular monthly music event.

By 2006, however, Rod was finding it difficult to combine his very successful career with the commitment needed to maintain the quality of Roots.

Kevin Roberts successfully continued it, then Andy Craig who has recently expanded the event to the new Northumberland Roots.

Besides music, Rod has, for the last ten years, volunteered as a guide at the Tyneside Cinema.

“I do this because I am very into film as an art form and as entertainment,” he said.

“I’ve always loved the Tyneside Cinema. My dad used to take me there as a lad in the ’50s when it was a news cinema.”

You can take the tour for free, and, if you are lucky, you might even have Rod as your guide.

For further information on the Tyneside Cinema tours, go to Lindisfarne are currently on tour and details can be found at