Lindisfarne Concert 

South Shields - Bent's Park - Sunday, 29th July 2001

by Mike Jessop


Billed as the only appearance in the North East this year, a mass crowd turned out in the blistering heat in South Shields to witness “Maxi” in shorts building up the “junior joke spot” to prepare for the appearance of the lads. 

With Billy leading on his lovely blue takemine they went straight into Anyway the Wind Blows, supplemented by Billys harmonica, then 100 Miles to Liverpool, extended somewhat by the Mandolin runs led by Rod. Some problems on backing harmonics were noticeable during When Jones Comes to Town, then a swift unannounced bash into the old JTL sound of Why Can’t I Be Satisfied ? ( never known the answer in 25 years ! ) – for most of the less familiar audience this was too long but for me a fine indulgent piece with a superb up the octave slide ending that brought the first of many smiles to the lads faces.
Rythmn section got going next on Working my Way Back Home, with Rod taking over vocals. Old Kenny Ward got an obscure BM intro next with Walk a Crooked Mile, now seeing Dave HD on the harmonica sound. Rod then introduced “A song for relationships we haven’t got yet “ - the gutsy Significant Other debuted recently with Billy at the Maggie – By now, many were restless which is just as well Billy then introduced a crowd pleaser leading to raised arms and clapalong, with Meet Me On The Corner, a song Billy heard “when I was 4 years old at school!”. Then the highlight – Lady Eleanor, ( great to see Billy plays identical chords to me ! ) with a little sound problem. A poignant and sincere quiet toast to JAH from Rods water glass then led into Billy’s rest for Dave leading on January Song.

Born at the Right Time followed, bumpily, “for the kids!”, with a brief loss of sound, before Ghost In Blue Suede Shoes – absolute lovely harmonies here – then Jubilee Corner from the Neighbourhood period.

Getting ready to “get off for a curry up Ocean Road” at the one hour mark, saw BM lead into Road To Kingdom Come, followed by a crescondic Run For Home which brought the crowds smiles out again and led to the first rise from the deckchairs ( Got close enough to confirm for me the C Am F G intro sequence ! ).

“Max Peters” reappeared, then, Two encores followed – firstly Devil of The North – some fine guitar and self indulgent slide finale, leading onto the contractually obligatory Fog on The Tyne, with Billy reaching out to the audience away at Tynemouth Priory for the “wee wee” closing verse ! Loud n’ proud.

Nice to see them out though with signs of less practice, diehards prefer the solo and various combos going around – Would still be great to have a Tribute night for Alan based around some of the greatest deepest lyrics of all time – March On !! 

    Mike Jessop ( Aided by Ailsa Coverdale and Lewis Rimington at “The Marine !”)