Lindisfarne Concert

Hove, The Hove Centre - Wednesday, 10th October 2001

by Chris Groom

First set: All Fall Down / Walk A Crooked Mile / Court In The Act / Ghost In Blue Suede Shoes / Born At The Right Time / Candlelight / Coming Good / Lady Eleanor / Winter Song / Passing Ghosts / Why Can't I Be Satisfied / Meet Me On The Corner
Second set: No Time To Lose / Refugees / Roll On That Day / Together Forever / Working My Way Back Home / Unmarked Car / Can't Do Right For Doing Wrong / Old Peculiar Feeling / Road To Kingdom Come / Run For Home / Clear White Light
Encore: Fog On The Tyne

"Can we have the voting from the Hove jury"

From the outside of the building it was almost impossible to tell whether or not there was a gig going on at all. With no signs, no posters and barely any lights, this Sixties office block could almost have been losed. Once inside the officious surroundings of Hove Town Hall, a pegboard propped up on an easel showed that Lindisfarne were indeed upstairs in the Grand Hall. Having driven through the jumping, neon-lit nightspot that is nearby Brighton - or London on Sea, as the locals call it - sleepy little Hove couldn't have been more different.

I think the hall itself was square, but the stage and seating was three sided and emanating from one corner of the room. Thankfully I didn't have to puzzle out the architecture for too long as the lights went down dead on time - Town Hall rules, mind - and the band were into 'All Fall Down' with Dave taking the lead, before Billy took over the vocals on 'Walk a Crooked Mile'. The first minor surprise was 'Court in the Act' which now sports a softer, more acoustic arrangement - love the song, prefer the ballsier treatment of the original. My guess is that if they play 'Jones' and the old arrangement to 'CITA' in the same set, the introductions would have sounded too similar.

After two songs from the Neighbourhood album, we were treated to two brand new compositions, both strong contenders for the new recording on which work starts as soon as the tour is over. First up was 'Candlelight', a slow ballad featuring Dave's lead vocal, this song is a Clements/Hull-Denholm collaboration with an air of minor-key mystery, which builds towards the end. Billy jokingly suggested we all hold up scorecards to vote. On first hearing I'll give it 7, while Julia gave it a definite 9 - unusual for her as she is normally more reserved in judgement. This was followed by 'Coming Good', a more typical lively band number with an immediate hook and a eminently singable chorus in the tradition of 'Alright on the Night'. So I'll hold up a big 8 for this, and yes, Julia's gone for the whole 10! The omens are good for the new album, but Neighbourhood is going to be a hard act to follow.

Also warranting special mention during the first half, were a fine 'Winter Song' from Dave and Ian and absolutely belting versions of 'Passing Ghosts' and 'Satisfied' from the whole ensemble.

Somebody must have slipped something in the lads halftime cuppa, for while there was nothing at all wrong with the first set, the second opened with a 'No Time To Lose' that lived up to its name, taken at a blistering pace and followed by an impassioned 'Refugees' for obvious reasons. Then came what was (for me at least) the highlight of the night, as just Billy and Rod revived 'Roll On That Day' and Rab's 'Together Forever'. The first time I've seen 'Roll' without Marty's lead vocal, Billy did it proud and Rods playing just had to be heard to be believed. Geordie Gospel music indeed.

At the end of 'Working My Way Back Home', Rod decided to keep playing and slid nicely into the intro to 'Unmarked Car'; I thought the band almost lost the plot somewhere in the middle, but the instrumental ending was tremendous and with Rod at the wheel, pulled the 'Car' back on the track.

Talking of driving matters, Woody was noticeable by his absence and we heard later that he has moved on to a larger vehicle and can currently be found driving The Charletans around Europe. Good luck to you Woody, but does this mean the band now have a vacancy for a cowbell player? The queue starts here!

Chris Groom