Lindisfarne Concert Reviews
Fishquay, North Shields - Sunday, 25th May 2003
by Michael Bailey
photos by Alasdair Carter, Michael Bailey, Eddie Bailey and Martyn Gaunt

an umbrella in one hand and a pint in the others

Over the last few years, the North Shields' famous Fish Quay festival had had mutated into the Las Vegas of the North that was The WoW festival. Dismayed punters could spend a day  prodding replica formula one cars, whilst being bombarded with mobile phone paraphernalia. Or, if the fancy took you, you could visit one on the many stages and watch Bolivia's only fire-breathing drum'n'bass'n'jews-harp combo, for example. 

Then, one day, somebody somewhere (not naming any names) decided it was too much fun and -in a highly publicised move - axed it. kind of. After a lot of protest, it was decided that the festival would return to its' roots, i.e. a celebration of the Quay and it's history. Oh, and a music festival as well. The thing was, they forgot to tell anyone, so most people were under the impression it had been axed completely. 'Oh - is it on this year??' became the common cry. Well yes, it was, and it was a great line-up. The Sunday alone consisted of The Watts'n'Whiffin Big Band, The Gangsters of Ska, The Steve Daggett Trio and Lindisfarne. All compered by Maxie. Yes, *that* Maxie. 

The weather wasn't too hopeful for the two or three days leading up to the gig, and the day didn't get off to the best of starts. Showers. Lots of them. We arrived at 4.30pm, just as The Watts'n'Whiffin Big Band kicked off the preceding. Consisting of drums, bass, keyboards, guitar and a horn section, their set was a highly polished and energetic run through some of the best  rock and soul songs of the last 30 years to an appreciative crowd. 

At this point, one thing hit me (almost literally). The PA system was a monster. Every kick from the bass drum made me want to dive for cover.  Corka. After Watts'n'Whiffin, the crowd filled out even more for the Gangsters of Ska. Watching this band is like watching a cartoon great fun. They threw sweets into the crowd, danced around like nutters and were generally great. We had a little bit of rain during the Gangsters set, but it was expected so no-one really minded too much. 

The Steve Daggett Trio

The Steve Daggett Trio

 Michael Bailey, Steve Daggett, Rachael Rhoades



The Steve Daggett Trio had a tricky task following the Gangsters - especially considering they don't have a drummer. I managed to grab a chat with Steve and Rach (the violin player) afterwards who were more than happy with the way things went. Judging from the crowd's reaction to their energetic-but-rootsy performance, I'd be inclined to agree and we'll leave it at that. *smile* 

And now.. the main attraction. I can't remember the set-list.. they kicked off with FOTT (Intentionally or not, it meant no-one could shout out for it throughout the rest of the gig. Great idea!) and ended with a rousing version of Clear White Light, minus the a capella intro. And in-between? Rock'n'Roll Phone, Devil of the North, Lady Eleanor, Run for Home, No Time to Lose, Anyway the Wind Blows, Under the Promenade, MMOTC, Significant Other, This Guitar Never Lies, Born at the Right Time, Two Way Street (yay!) I haven't a clue in which order though - sorry. 

The lads seemed to be really fired up - after all, it was the first full band gig for donkeys' months. The set was a perfect festival blend of greatest hits, rockier stuff and obscure-ish classics.. there was something here for everyone and, to use an old cliché, the crowd lapped it up.  

The rain, which had held off it's full wrath for most of the day, finally couldn't hold back anymore and let rip about half-way through the set. In a typical show of North-Eastern toughness, the entire crowd (approx 3,000) remained rooted to the spot. You could tell the lads appreciated it. 

A noticeable side effect was that many people couldn't clap, as they had an umbrella in one hand and a pint in the other, so they cheered instead. It all added to the atmosphere.  

Towards the end of the set, the rain cleared and was replaced by sun and a rainbow over South Shields. For whatever reason, it didn't quite stretch to the north side of the Tyne maybe Mother Mature thought the atmosphere there was warm enough already.