Lindisfarne Concert Review

Gala Theatre, Durham - Wednesday, 1st October 2003

by Hazel & Mike Jessop

additional photos by Michael Bailey

" Lindisfarne played to a full house at Durham"

In celebration of the first anniversary of the Saddler Street scheme, and on their opening night of a UK tour, Lindisfarne played to a full house at Durham.

Opening with Fog on The Tyne, then Rocking Chair dedicated to former coalminers, the first highlight was the Tony Blair style intro to and playing of This Guitar Never Lies with a fine rhythm build up, not once but twice and with Dave on a new Toon Army style guitar. Remember Tomorrow has some great words ( who wrote this one ? ) and saw Billy on Harmonica for the first of several times that evening.

Dave provided fine vocals sounding just like Alan himself on This Too Will Pass – many comment on the similarity of the voice and the poignant atmosphere it creates. Rod was up next with the political Freedom Square completing a little run of newer material from the Promenade CD.

Perhaps the most remarkable and memorable thing happened next – Billy started up Lady Eleanor but on capo 5 ! With a quick apology up to 7 the song was performed well with strong backing, the sound mix was perfect and the new picked ending was a real treat.
Down On The Promenade followed with Dave singing again, followed by a rockier Two Way Street ( amply portraying the profile of Billy’s left leg in action ! ), then Rock n’ Roll Telephone, before my personal highlight of the night – a simply brilliant fully angst driven beaty and tight keen playing of Statues and Liberties with Billy’s conclusion simply being “An Alan Hull song - I think we can all tell what that’s about”. Too true – Alan told it straight ! Billy picked up a 12 string for the first time that evening to end the first half with Coming Good.

After Michael and Rachel were spotted doing the photos from the Balcony, the lads came back on stage to Meet Me on The Corner – never my personal favourite but a great crowd pleaser with the whole theatre clapping and singing along before even the first words were uttered.
Born at The Right Time was next up with the band, before the Dave and Ian delivery of Winter Song under one spotlight brought a precious silence to the house. Like the beard Ian – Tom says it’s because you are growing up and being sensible ! Billy’s comments on his wife’s fur coat led to a great gag that needs to be kept on this tour – it led into the three playing the pertinent Cant do Wrong for Doing Right with some excellent harmonics from Rods strings.

Rod went on to provide some more fine guitar work with superb ending runs on the next two songs One Day and Unmarked Car, and then we were into Jubilee Corner ( From Rothbury apparently, not North Shields ?! ).

Unfinished Business took us onto Whisky Highway, in more ways than one and both were performed to the letter and with polish and enthusiasm.

Run for Home ended the show with mass sing along before a good three song encore mix which saw Dave up front first for the old squire tune One More Bottle of Wine, a keen and much remembered bouncy Clear White Light, then a funky finish with the Devil of the North.
A good night with the musical highlight for me being Statues and Liberties – sheer brilliance, keep it in the show chaps – and remember – Lady Eleanor capo at 7 !!