Lindisfarne Concert 

Colchester, Arts Centre - Thursday, 1st March 2001

by Judith Watson

  When we arrived at Colchester Arts Centre there was a sign up saying that the concert was sold out - a good sign! Before we'd even got there, there was a group singing Lindisfarne songs in the pub to get them in the mood for the concert, which suggested a good night ahead. We'd also managed to take along several friends and our group of seven perfectly fitted the front row - another good sign! I then realised I had forgotten a pen or a paper, so this review is courtesy of the ever-helpful Woody who gave me a copy of the set list. There's not too much detail as I've probably forgotten lots. 

  Both sets were very strong, with old and new songs. Started off with When Jones Gets Back to Town - think that's the title - that I'd only heard once before at Stockton in November, following on with Why Can't I be Satisfied, then 100 Miles to Liverpool. Next came Refugees - I'm getting used to it without the flute - then Marshall Riley's Army. By now a drunken female had started to sing Meet Me on the Corner before every song, to Mitch's amusement at first - in fact he remained good-natured about it! Dave then continued with Poor Old Ireland. Train in G Major came next, followed by Workin' My Way Back Home and Born at the Right Time, all of which were going down well. The drunk but happy female was still shouting for Meet Me…. So Billy said, "Oh, go on then" and they launched into it to an ecstatic reception. (When we were chatting to the band afterwards, she came up and said "Why didn't you sing Meet Me….?", to which they incredulously replied "We did - you must've gone to sleep!") Then followed 2-Way Street, which I like more every time I hear it - by now I was regretting sitting on the front row when all the dancing was going on in the aisles! The first set finished with the highlight of the show for me - Statues and Liberties. Alan would be proud of it - one of my friends, who hadn't heard it before, thought it was wonderful and commented on how hard they all have to work during the song, something I hadn't really noticed as I was too busy enjoying it, but I'm sure she's right. 

  I think Ray must've wanted a longer break, as we didn't see him for the first three songs in the second set - I wondered if he had forgotten again - but no, when he did arrive Woody hadn't gone to get him, so it must've been planned. Dave and Ian came on first to do their usual brilliant Winter Song - very apt in the freezing conditions. Billy came on and said "Not bad for a young 'un", and followed it with Can't do Right for Doing Wrong (after which Ian commented that it was "Not bad for an old 'un!) and January Song. Unmarked Car came next, then Lady Eleanor and Ghost in Blue Suede Shoes. One Day next, followed by a finale of rockers - much to the delight of the dancers, starting with Road to Kingdom Come and Jubilee Corner. The last songs before the encore were Any Way the Wind Blows and Run For Home. They soon came back to finish off with Devil of the North and Fog on the Tyne.

  All the songs went down well with the appreciative audience - new and old songs were welcomed, but Fog was definitely a good one to finish with, leaving on a real high. One friend who went with us was ecstatic. She couldn't believe she'd never got round to seeing the band before, despite being a big fan in her teens, and vowed to see them whenever they were near Milton Keynes in the future. It took us ages before we could leave as she had to have a long chat with each of the lads, saying on the way home, "But aren't they all so nice and friendly?" Our other friends, who had last been at the Ripon gig, and been very disappointed, reckoned the band were back on track, the magic was back and had a wonderful time. I don't know about the language barrier, though - halfway through, several people started shouting "Away the lads!" to which Billy eventually replied something like "We've been awaying for the last hour, in case you hadn't noticed!" Liz, who comes from Colchester, said to me "What's he on about? I didn't understand a word of that!" 

  And was it worth Trevor and I doing a 520-mile round trip to see yet another Lindisfarne concert (as our uninitiated friends would say!) - it certainly was! Well, what can we do, when there's only one gig arranged anywhere near us in the Northeast? Looking forward to Scarborough, which is much nearer home, and meeting anyone else who might be there.

Judith Watson 6/3/2001