Lindisfarne Concert

Pawling, New York USA - Saturday, 17th August 2002

by Bill Elrick

photos by Bill Elrick and Joe Aimino (Tin Angel show)

"Back in the USA"

While I had the option of driving up north 1.5hrs to see the Lindisfarne acoustic trio last night at the Towne Crier NY. The thought of this being my last chance for several years of seeing the guys in the USA was just too much of a temptation for me. My wife Sarah who liked the band way back during the NOOT and FOTT days had come down to the Tin Angel Philadelphia last Saturday. She and had enjoyed the band so much the acoustic album played on her car cd all week however I was still a little surprised when I announced that I was going up north to see them and she agreed to come along.

The Towne Crier is in the middle of nowhere in the wooded valleys of the foothills of the Catskills Mtns NY state. The building sits about 75 ft off a two lane road going through town. The single storied building looks like it is an old converted barn. The wooden floors of the restaurant add to this impression. The décor was of an Arizona Mexican restaurant though very nice and welcoming. The small stage sits in a corner but was well lit.

The band arrived and headed for the bar, so I went in to welcome them. They all looked a little weary what with the distances between gigs and the constant night after night shows. They were however very quick to brighten up when I spoke to them and I believe they were looking forward to the gig. 

The show began at 10.00pm with Billy announcement that this was the last show of the USA tour and they dedicated the song "Working my way back home" to the situation they were now in. “Jones was next and surprisingly there was no Line dancing tonight! Next up was “Refugees” and there seemed to be a stir amongst the audience that this band had something to say and were varied musically. Dave then sang “This too must Pass” and gave it all he had. To be honest Dave looked a little homesick. I asked Dave after the show he looked ready to go home to his wife and baby. He denied it but then went into the story of how he had talked with the baby that morning and how she was coming on. Billy then sang “Happy birthday dad” and soon after announced that they were keeping all the Techno disco stuff for later. Rod introduced the “Freedom Square” song with the reference to a TV documentary, which I really must try and see, that’s Right!

Billy next gave us the warnings about old school mates as they went into “ Remember Tomorrow” which was followed with “Born at the right time” There can be no doubt this is going to be one of those classics that in time everyone will be shouting for at the gigs. Finally the audience warmed up as they hit “Walking back to blueberry hill”. Dave came in next with “One world” and gave everyone a second chance to appreciation that the young kid who usually is sitting quietly on the left was not just there for the sex appeal for the younger ladies but a talented singer and could do a great rendition of an Alan Hull song.

The next song intro by Rod now called “Train in E major” which I have heard three times live in the last weeks and have recordings of on “One Track Mind” and “Lindisfarne acoustic” somehow took on a special aura that went beyond anything I have heard it sound for years. We all know it is a great song from FOOT but the last few weeks have changed this song into something else! Rod now doing all kinds of fill's and Billy and Dave are doing there own special accompaniment. I hope when they get back to the UK and they go out with the full band these three get their heads down and let you hear it this way. Billy’s calls of author! and the throw away line of it only took 33 years to get it right, may just be the quintessential truth. This is the best I have ever heard this song and for this song alone I would have gladly paid my $17.00 and gone home well satisfied. The next song up was “Ghost in Blue suede shoes” as Billy told us about his inability to book a hotel last night as it was full of Elvis impersonators? “Can’t do right for doing wrong” came up next with all the men nodding their heads and the women wondering what they were on about. Rod intro to “Significant other” brought some giggles and some right out laughter from the audience, could this yet be another career for Rod in stand up or in this case sit down comedian? They then sang “Why can’t I be satisfied” which was introduced as an old song but for life of me I could not remember which album or single it comes from? I found out that it is a Jack the Lad number. 

The last song of the night of course brought the house down as always and unlike Fog I never get tired of listening to “Meet me on the corner”. After a little discussion it was agreed that they would do one more for an encore and they decided to do Rod’s classic “Road to kingdom come” which again brought the crowd to their feet and showed that these guys can rock.

The USA tour is finished and I am so happy I managed to attend three of the gigs as each one was a totally different experience. If it is possible that the band could have managed to get better then I think somehow they did on this tour, if you have a chance to go and see them soon. I would jump at the chance. I must admit I did feel a little like a groupie going to all the gigs, but came away feeling more like a friend of the bands after each performance. Now where can I get one of those tattoos for my back gg?

Bill Elrick
New Jersey USA