Lindisfarne Concert

Peebles, Scotland - Saturday, 5th October 2002

by William Hershaw photo by Ian Elrick

"Across The Border Again"

This gig was advertised as Peebles but actually took place in the Memorial Hall, Innerleithen - about six miles down the road. The concert was the concluding event of "The Both Sides Of The Tweed" festival. We arrived at 7:00 pm looking for the venue and knew we were in the right neighbourhood when we saw Ray Laidlaw and Rod Clements eating fish suppers outside the
local chippie.

The concert was packed out - 300 at least with the balcony upstairs full as well. An instrumental folk band called Clan Na Gael opened proceedings and were joined on stage with some very energetic Irish dancers. A fire alarm caused by an over active smoke machine caused the entire hall to be evacuated before the excellent Pete Coe came on from West Yorkshire and entertained us with some witty anti- royalist numbers and socialist (does that word still exist ?) folksongs.

By now a fair amount of Borders Ale had been consumed (Merlin's Ale, Stewarts, Deuchars: I remember these ones) and suddenly a five piece non acoustic Lindisfarne were back in town. They played one long set, the first half made up mainly of "Promenade" songs which went down very well. They did "This Guitar", "Anyway The Wind Blows", "This Too Will Pass" (Stunning) "Working My Way Back Home", "Freedom Square" "Blueberry Hill", "Promenade", "Born At The Right Time" and then disaster struck.

Rod's mandolin lead packed in at the start of "Lady Eleanor" and they were forced to keep going as a foursome without him. Much consternation from Mr Clements ! In true lindisfarne style the band then started to really work hard and we thought the roof was going to lift off. "Significant Other" was followed by an almost nonchalant "Fog On The Tyne". "Rock And roll Phone" was ear -ringingly loud and extremely tight. They finished up with "MMOTC" and "Run For Home".

Encores were "No Time To Lose", "Clear White Light" and "Devil Of The North". At this point the stage was surrounded by about twenty to thirty inebriated middle aged jivers. The band looked a bit perplexed and discomfited. They seemed taken aback by the reaction. I'm not sure if they approve of such undignified goings on these days.

At the end a wee man came on who was the organiser, grabbed the mike and said, "To all those who said we shouldn't book Lindisfarne because they're not a folk band - folk off !" Quite a night really. Haste ye back.

Willie Hershaw