1. Fog On The Tyne
2. No time to lose
3. This guitar never lies
4. Anyway the wind blows
5. This too will pass
6. Working my way back home
8. Born in the right time
9. Meet me on the corner
10. Walking back to Blueberry Hill
11. Winter song.
12. Freedom Square
13. Lady eleanor.
14. Under the promenade
15. Unmarked car
16. One day.
17. Jubilee corner
18. Unfinished business
19. Rock'n'roll phone
20. Road to kingdom come
21. Run for home
22. One more bottle of wine
23. Clear white light part 2
24. Devil of the north
Lindisfarne Concert Reviews
Cropredy Festival - Thursday, 7th August 2003
by Ayd Instone
"I can't wait to see them again."
The only way for me to see Lindisfarne at this years Cropredy Festival was to splash out sixty quid for the entire three day event. The band headlined the first night, Thursday, with a two hour set that was worth every single penny.
Alan Hull has been missing from the band, his friends and family for eight years now. Following his sad death in 1995, a flood of new material appeared including the 'Statues and Liberties', 'Back to Basics', and 'Another Fine Mess', albums so for the fan with a complete record collection and who doesn't get to gigs that often (the last was Reading in 1993), Alan was very much still there. I felt a very real and recent sadness to finally come to terms with his passing and to know that he wasn't going to be there that night as I waited in the front row for the band to appear.
What we were treated to for the next two hours was an awe-inspiring highly polished show, modestly and calmly delivered. The three front men, Dave Hull-Denholm, Billy Mitchell and Rod Clements, took it in turn to introduce the numbers. Mitch was on top form (the man that was always not- quite-in-Lindisfarne now takes centre stage), more than capable to put down the numerous drunken suggestions shouted out (my favourite being "Beers good isn't it!"). Ray Laidlaw's drumming was as versatile as ever and along with Ian Thomson's solid bass allowing Dave, Mitch and Rod to be almost constantly changing their instruments to create a subtle change in the sound. Each song appeared to be presented perfectly rather than just simply performed.
The show began with a new take on 'Fog on the Tyne'. A song previously reserved as a show stopper, the new band were saying what the order of the day is: intricate musicianship, close harmonies and acoustic thumping and bashing. Without the saxaphone and (fantastic) rock-soul voice of Marty Craggs, that served us so faithfully throughout the eighties and nineties (and with not a keyboard in sight) we're left with a guitar based folk-rock atmosphere. This sounds like the same band that recorded 'Nicely Out of Tune'. Straight on the heels of the opener is the rarity 'No Time to Lose'.
Alan's legacy is treated like a treasure trove with the new members of the band dipping in to choose their own favourite jewel to present to us. Obviously in a two hour show there's room to fit in all the favourites as well - and why not - classics such as 'Clear White Light' and 'Winter Song' (here sung beautifully by Dave and dedicated by him to "Jimmy Alan Hull") are proven live successes, along with the hits of 'Meet me on the Corner' and 'Run For Home'. The band handpicked a few other treats for us including 'Anyway the Wind Blows' and 'Road to Kingdom Come'.
I'd only given 1998's 'Here Come the Neighbourhood' album a few casual hearings, preferring to stick on 'Elvis Lives on the Moon' or 'Amigos' so I was surprised to find the batch of songs from that album so familiar and strong. Interspersed with older and newer material were 'Born at the Right Time', 'Ghost in Blue Suede Shoes', 'Jubilee Corner', 'Unmarked Car' and the excellent 'Working My Way Back Home'. The wonderful 'Devil of the North' was saved till the very end as the last of three encore songs.
It may come as a surprise to some that Lindisfarne are still churning out new songs and almost all of last year's 'Promenade' album was performed in the show. My initial feeling on 'Here Comes the Neighbourhood' was that it was a band still in flux. Not so with 'Promenade'. What is amazing is that to a Lindy virgin these new songs stand up with and fit alongside classics from thirty three years ago. The key to Lindisfarne's magic is something that they share only with the Beatles - consistently great songs, played and sung just right. Rare indeed is the song that you can hear for the first time and be singing along by the end. 'Freedom Square', 'Under the Promenade' and 'Walking back to Blueberry Hill' and the others have this magic. When the evocative 'This Guitar Never Lies' was announced I heard a voice near me say to his companion "oh, this is a good one" and it is, especially in the way Rod slides into the seventh at the start of the chorus.
Highlights of the show would have to be the amazing 'Lady Eleanor', again the new arrangement sounded as haunting as ever and the new 'This Too Will Pass' sounded more contemporary and relevant than Coldplay. But the moment that got me choked was when Dave returned to the stage on his own for the encore and sang, sounding so much like Alan, 'One More Bottle of Wine' from 'Squire'. Hearing those songs afresh like this makes you realise how good they really are and to know they're still alive and in safe hands is quite exhilarating.
My mum was always a big fan of Jacka - but was all too happy to switch her allegiance to Marty when he took over main vocal duties. What the new Lindisfarne have managed to do is to do exactly what they've done all along - to change and evolve in exactly the right way. What I saw that night was in no way a Lindisfarne tribute band. Neither was it a band in denial of Alan's emmense contribution to their history. What we have today is a very confident, competent group of musicians who not only deserve to inherit the Lindisfarne name but also have, by divine right, access to one of the greatest collection of popular songs ever.
For any Lindisfarne fans present (there must have been thousands from the sound of them) we were swiftly reminded of the weird side effect of attending a Lindisfarne gig - throbbing hands and hoarse voices.
Often sited as the band that never fulfilled their potential it dawns on me now that that isn't really the case. Stop reading this and put on 'Nicely Out of Tune' and then slap on 'Fog on the Tyne', 'Dingly Dell', 'Pipedream' (yes and the Mark 2 LPs and Jack the Lad!) then all the rest up to 'Promenade'. Listen to all that and then ask yourself how it could have possibly been any better.
I can't wait to see them again.