Lindisfarne Concert Reviews

Morecambe, The Platform - Friday, 29h Nov 2002

by Derek Walmsley

"Over 18's Only"

I can’t really add much to the excellent reviews already written about this tour, but feel that the last gig of 2002 on truly English soil (Berwick being a hotly-disputed border town!) deserves its own mention! This took place on the ex-platforms of the aptly-named Promenade station in Morecambe. The trains now depart 400 yards further inland, giving the Lancashire seaside resort a unique concert venue. An unusual mixture of seats in rows and round tables were soon all spoken for and at 8.00 p.m. prompt the lads took the stage and launched into the 1989 classic “Anyway The Wind Blows”. Billy said after looking at the audience that they had better play some old material. Seven Lindisfarne songs from the 1970s and two Alan Hull solo nuggets were well distributed throughout a set showcasing the superb recent material from 1998’s “Neighbourhood” and this years “Promenade”. 

From the latter album, Billy continued with “When Jones Get Back To Town” and Dave with the poignant “This Too Will Pass”. The intro to “Lady Eleanor” brought murmurs of recognition from the first-timers and I’m sure many of these will soon be as familiar with the new material. Certainly, Ian’s “Under The Promenade” sung by Dave would have “hit” written all over it in a fairer world! Rod’s classy “Neighbourhood” ballad “Can’t Do Right For Doing Wrong” was nicely delivered by Billy. Mr. Clements then sang his own traditional folk song “Freedom Square” which was in fact written last year after watching a documentary- that’s right! Back to Billy for the next four- Neighbourhood tracks “Ghost In Blue Suede Shoes” and Mr. Mitchell’s own gem “Born At The Right Time” bookended “Breakfast” from Alan Hull’s 1973 “Pipedream” album and “Meet Me On The Corner”, introduced by Rod as a “Kevin Kennedy classic!”. 

Those not in the know might be interested to hear that the Coronation Street star recorded “Meet Me” on his recent solo album, backed by one Ray “Jacka” Jackson on harmonica. The new band arrangement of “Breakfast” was a stunning arrangement, acoustic verses giving way to storming, swirling choruses. Memories of the late great Alan Hull were enlivened still further with Dave’s absolutely blistering version of 1995’s title track “Statues and Liberties”. “Look out!”, Dave snarled, as the first half was brought to a stupendous full-throttle close.

The second half started with the hypnotic riff of Dave’s “Unmarked Car”. Building to a memorable tour-de-force, I’m pleased to see it back in the set. “This Guitar Never Lies” is another shining example of the first-class songwriting on the new album, one of my favourites. It was then back to the 1970s, first with Dave and Ian for “Winter Song” then Billy and the full band for 1979’s “Log On Your Fire” and a rousing and amusing “Fog On The Tyne”. Next, a tribute to a place “where you can have a spliff and laugh at people going into Marks & Spencers”, guitars ringing out the riff and Billy adding a new vocal coda to “Jubilee Corner”. Rod had everyone in stitches with “Significant Other”; topically, “Edwina needed John” in this version! Old and new Rod gems followed; “Road To Kingdom Come” made way for “Unfinished Business”, a lyrical and musical highlight of “Promenade”. The new album’s rocker “Rock’n’Roll Phone” upped the tempo for “Devil Of The North” with Ray’s drum letting out almighty thuds. 

The audience noisily demanded an encore and vociferously joined in a rousing version of “Run For Home”, dedicated to Maggie from the Channel Islands. “Audience of the tour!” shouted Billy as the band left the stage and no-one at Morecambe would have disagreed! 

It’s been a fantastic year for Lindisfarne fans with a new studio album, Newcastle convention weekend, full band/acoustic shows and a live acoustic album made in advance of the American tour. Morecambe was the icing on the cake- set list, new arrangements and performances were top notch. It was also great to meet up with long-time fans Peter, Steve and Helen again. Everyone I brought along thoroughly enjoyed the show and there’s definitely more new fans as a result! 

Roll on 4th April 2003 and the Acoustic Gig in the Rosehill Theatre, Whitehaven!

    Derek Walmsley 

After the show, I met Maggie and Stephen from Guernsey in the bar and it transpires we are not only all mad Lindisfarne fans but mad Michael Chapman fans! I must end with a plug for the quietly awesome singer-songwriter-guitarist I last saw in the Twice Brewed Inn near Hadrian’s Wall only a month ago. Try “Navigation” (1995) with drumming by a certain Mr. Laidlaw!