Lindisfarne Concert

Borderline, London, Friday, 16th March 2001

by Chris Groom

"A rare club appearance from a legendary folk band". 

Set list: Jones / Why Can't / 100 Miles / Poor Old / Train / Working / Born / Meet / Two Way / Statues / Lady / Winter / Unmarked / One day / Road / Run. Encores: Devil / Fog.

From the opening chords of 'When Jones gets back to Town', the majority of the audience were on their feet - well, actually they had little choice, as apart from a handful of bar stools this tiny, basement club is a standing room only venue. Recently voted 'Time Out Venue of the Year', the Borderline has played host during the past ten years to the likes of Sheryl Crow, Oasis, REM (under an assumed name), Emmylou Harris, Mick Jagger and Joan Osbourne, among many, many others. 

Situated near the top of Charing Cross Road, and almost opposite Denmark Street, this is London's 'guitar-shop' land and it came as no surprise to spot Billy and Rod window shopping before the gig, while Dave purchased effects pedals and Ian picked out somewhere to eat.

The venue itself is deliberately basic - cold stone walls and wooden pillars make it look more like the interior of the Alamo than a top London venue. Its capacity is supposed to be 275, but I would have thought that if you crammed 150 inside, there would be hardly any room left to 'swing together', if you get my drift. Despite the announcement in Time Out that the band would play two sets, it quickly became apparent that it would be just one combined performance; partly because the Borderline has a policy of hosting live bands up 'til 11.00pm, followed by a club night from 11 until 4 in the morning.

Consequently seven songs were dropped from the regular set this tour - out went 'Refugees', 'January Song', 'Marshall Riley's Army', 'Jubilee Corner', 'Anyway the Wind Blows', 'Can't Do Right', and 'Ghost' - and this meant less time to chat with the lads afterwards, before the venue decided to give us all a gentle hint and turned out the lights! I was standing near the merchandise stall when everything went black, and Louise, who was in the process of trying to pack it all away, was none too pleased, I can tell you!!

Back to the songs we did hear; 'Why Can't I Be Satisfied' definitely has an extra kick to it these days and 'Road to Kingdom Come' is becoming more and more powerful each time I hear it. 'Statues & Liberties' is fast becoming a favourite with everyone that I've spoken to, and Dave's delivery has Alan's stamp all over it. The rockier material fared better down in the basement, with some of the more subtle moments lost in the Borderlines old fashioned bar room atmosphere. The exception was 'Winter Song', which actually seemed to benefit from the surroundings and drew one of the biggest cheers of the night.

Strange, but true department. During the intro. to 'Fog', Dave and Rod traded a few bars of the old Abba hit 'Dancing Queen' and quick as a flash, Billy announced to the crowd that they could sing the chorus in Swedish if they liked. To his amazement, a few did just that - there was actually a contingent from Sweden in the house, most of whom grabbed Mitch at the end of the evening to shake his hand. That is, before the lights went out