Lindisfarne Concert
Stephen Joseph Theatre
Sun, 25th March 2001
by Martyn and Edwina Gaunt

   My kind of venue, this - a beautifully restored 1930's cinema, looking like everyone's idea of how an old Gaumont, Essoldo or Odeon should look. "Sold Out" stickers over the Lindisfarne posters outside was a very encouraging sign, too. Maybe not quite everyone loved the building as much as I did - en route for the bar before the gig I found a certain full time roadie and part time cowbell player taking a quick five before things got going; he expressed an opinion that theatres are always hard to move equipment in and out of, and probably designed by the same people who build motorways - people who don't have to use them. Maybe he had a point, and he's a lot bigger than I am, so I wouldn't argue - but I still think the place looked wonderful!
   The Round is one of at least three venues within the SJT, and very "different" it is, too - sort of a pit (but with very nice seating!) with the audience sitting round all four sides, a place that can held  up to 400 people. This gave a nice "in the round" feeling which felt a bit like the long-ago days of the City Hall Christmas Shows, with (from my point of view) people sitting behind Ray and the drum kit. The band played on the central stagefacing inwards - as one member (who shall remain nameless) said, it felt more like a rehearsal than a performance; another member (who shall also remain nameless) then asked what a rehearsal was.. !

   So to the set - most of the songs would be familiar to anyone who caught the band on the last tour, starting with "When Jones Gets Back To Town"; this song gets better every time I hear it - guys, please make sure it gets onto the next studio album. Straight into "Why Can't I Be Satisfied", then "100 Miles To Liverpool". Rod's vocal on the opening verse of "Refugees" was something special, I thought - the quiet guy who played bass and fiddle for so long (while writing the odd belting tune) seems to go from strength to strength, as a songwriter, player (king of the Dobro!) and vocalist. 
   Still nice to hear that fiddle, although it only appeared on "Marshall Riley's Army" on this occasion. I thought that the band really rocked when doing Ian's "Two Way Street", which is, for me, one of the highlights of the current set. Dave also was on top vocal form, on "Poor Old Ireland" and especially on "Statues And Liberties" which closed the first half - every nuance of Alan's lyric of power and privilege coming clearly through.
   The second half highlights for me were again Dave's vocal on "January Song", and his slide playing on the blue Telecaster in "Can't Do Right For Doing Wrong". Rod was away somewhere very inspiring for his solo during "Road to Kingdom Come", this time on the Dobro rather than the black Strat. 

   Scarborough out of season is a rather genteel place, probably why Billy spent some time explaining what "Jubilee Corner" was all about - personally I think I'm already about halfway there, but let it pass. It was good to hear a gutsy version of my favourite "Amigos" track, "Anyway the Wind Blows", before the band finished with "Run for Home".

   Then back for an encore of "Devil of the North" and sending us happily into the night with (what else?) "Fog On The Tyne". Very good sound, and probably the best-lit show I've seen the guys do for some time. Nice one, lads - now, roll on the Wath Upon Dearne Festival!

SJT Impressions

left to right: R.Groll, Ray, Steve Daggett left to right: Steve D. Rachael Rhoades, Andrew Carter, Alasdair Carter, Cath (Steve friend), R.Groll
 Dave Hill & Ken Ward's back (Kenny bangs a drum) Michael Bailey talking to Ian

on the left: Alan Brown, directly from 'his' Oil Platform in the North Sea where he runs the control room; Rachael, Ray and Steve

see how -the Watson's- (left) and -'the Ogden's- are killin' the time during the interval