Lindisfarne Concert

Llandudno, North Wales Theatre - Sunday, 3rd March 2002

by Keith Jones (and son Jonathan)

North Wales is fast becoming a second home to Lindisfarne, after this their third gig up here in 16 months. They were last at Llandudno in November 2000 and after last year's jaunt to the Bulkeley Hotel on the Isle of Anglesey / Ynys Mon where the venue was best described as "playing in someone's front room" - complete with chandeliers just above the stage(!) it was back to Llandudno. It was another new venue though, in the form of the Ocean View Room - presumably because with only 200-ish tickets sold, the management / band felt that it would be lifeless in the vast 1200 seat theatre. And what an inspired decision, apart from the misgivings of those latecomers who expected a reserved seat (but more of that later) - it gave the whole evening a "homely" feeling and there were tables for your drinks and an ever-open bar - bliss! 

We arrived half an hour before the off with son Jonathan (now aged 12 and fast becoming a "veteran") pleased to see so many other youngsters in the crowd. Time for a quick trip to the merchandise stall to secure my copy of "Promenade" and then time for a pint before the lads started smack on time and straight away into a mix of songs from the new album and regular favourites - "This Guitar Never Lies", "Any Way The Wind Blows", "Refugees", "Candlelight", "Old Peculiar Feeling", "Born At The Right Time", "One Day". Next up (I think, I knew I should have asked for a playlist at the end!) was "Under The Promenade", "Coming Good" (my personal favourites off "Promenade") before the first half was brought to an end with a well received rendition of "Meet Me On The Corner" - coincidentally the first ever Lindisfarne song that I heard at the tender age of 14 (yes - all those years ago!).

Time for another pint (well it was awfully hot in the room!) before the second half which comprised "Fog On The Tyne", "No Time To Lose", "Blueberry Hill", "Roll On That Day", "One World", "Significant Other", "Unfinished Business", "Jubilee Corner", "The Road To Kingdom Come" and the finale "Run For Home" (what else!). The lads then rewarded the audience's polite but determined applause with a three-song encore of "Lady Eleanor", "Clear White Light" and "Devil Of The North".

I enjoyed the whole evening immensely with the right balance of new songs along with a pick and mix of the old ones, which actually seem to benefit from the odd bit of 'reworking' (or is it just my hearing altering with the years?). As ever the band were eager to please during the show and equally determined to reward the faithful after the show. We were all mighty impressed that they spent a good half an hour just signing autographs in a production line manner and then they very kindly let me and Jonathan have our picture taken with them before we left - the first picture of the group that has ever turned out properly for me!! The lads' consideration was rewarded by what seemed to be a fair trade in CDs, with Sarah proving to be as proficient on the credit card machine as dad Billy was on stage (by the way, nice pronunciation, Billy, sounding almost like a born Welshman!). By the way is there any truth in the rumour that Ian and Dave are twins separated at birth but now reunited!?

I shall leave it to those more knowledgeable to pass comment on the merits of each song and just simply say it was a great night with just the right sized crowd (even including the guy behind me who said he only recognised three songs all night!). Looking at the tour schedule it certainly is a punishing one but I have no doubts at all that every performance will be a magical one and I hope everyone who catches the lads on tour enjoys themselves as much as I did. I look forward to seeing Lindisfarne back in 'Gogledd Cymru' again one day.

As I mentioned in the opening paragraph the night may have been slightly marred for some who turned up thinking they had a reserved seat in the front rows of the theatre but then had to fight for a chair behind some pillar (and there were several in the room) which did tend to obscure the view. In hindsight perhaps the theatre did overdo the tables bit and could possibly have squashed a lot more seats down the front by the stage, with tables at the back for those who really wanted one. Having said that, anyone who turns up for a concert five minutes before it starts can't really complain can they?