Splitcrow is united again in anniversary charity gig

Splitcrow members Barry Winlow, Bob Davidson, John Dickinson and Nigel Stawart.
Splitcrow members Barry Winlow, Bob Davidson, John Dickinson and Nigel Stawart.

Eighties rock stars are set to strut their stuff once more in a 30th anniversary charity gig.

Splitcrow was formed in Morpeth in 1982 when pals Nigel Stawart, Bob Davidson and John Dickinson teamed up with bass player Barry Winlow to produce a soulful rock sound inspired by the American south.

In 1984 the band released their album Rockstorm, which reached number 19 in the charts, and they received a five-star review in rock bible Kerrang.

However, the break-up followed soon afterwards when they became dismayed by their record company and the musicians went their separate ways, part way through recording a second album.

Now though, the foursome are back together, and tomorrow will take to the stage of the Riverside Lodge in Morpeth to resurrect some of their hits.

Mr Stawart said: “We have never been in the same room together for 30 years as the four of us. “We started rehearsing in March. It was the first time the four of us had played together since we were in the recording studio in London, but as soon as we got together it felt just like it was when we were in our 20s, except we are all a bit older and wiser now, and hopefully play better as well.”

The band has re-formed partly for the anniversary, but also to raise funds for lymphoma research following Mr Dickinson’s diagnosis of a rare blood cancer and Guillain-Barre Syndrome in 2011.

He had made a name as a musician in his own right and was regularly touring America and Europe when his illness brought his work to a stop.

But while he is still undergoing treatment, Mr Dickinson is ready to return to the stage with his former bandmates.

The gig had been due to take place in August, but it was put on hold when another member of the group, Mr Winlow had to undergo an operation for carpal tunnel syndrome.

He is now recovering, and while he may not be able to perform all of the Splitcrow tracks on the night, he will play the majority.

“The gig will be a thank-you to those people who came along to see us back in the day and we will do as many tracks as we can from the album,” said Mr Stawart.

“It is about raising money and bringing people together again, which has got to be a good thing.”

The charity gig begins at 7,30pm.

Tickets cost £6 and are available on the door or on 01670 512771.

The band are also set to perform at Ashington Football Club on Friday, November 28.