Lindisfarne Concert Review

Landmark Arts Centre, Teddington - Monday, 13th October 2003

by John Grenfell

" My friends will not wait over 30 years to see the band again"
(Little did I know then)

The next evening was at the Landmark Arts Centre in Teddington close to the banks of the Thames in West London. The centre itself is supposed to be in a converted church but we couldn't see what had changed. It still looked like a church to us. The assembled crowd around the two bars (fast bar service!), and the merchandise stall spoke quietly and the occasional bursts of laughter echoed high up into the vaulted ceiling. We wondered how the real rockers from the previous evening would sound in the church. Statues and Liberties, Rock and Roll Phone, Unmarked care and Devil had been as rocky as you get.

God knows what kind of day the band had been having but it was soon clear that they had decided that the tour set would not work and had almost completely revamped it. We had decided to go to this gig at the end of May when I told some friends about it at a college reunion. Thus it was that seats A1 - 7 were taken up with a party who first saw the band in December 1970. For the others it was the first Lindisfarne gig since 1972 but for us it was our second in 24 hours. Tickets for this gig didn't go on sale until September and the box office personnel were relieved when they did so I would stop pestering them. 

Various duos, trios and one quintet put on a superb show with some unexpected and welcome gems. United States Of Mind, Blueberry Hill and Happy Birthday Dad made welcome returns in place of the rockier songs which would have given Sparks nightmares. Ray, when he was on stage, struggled gamely with his kit to try not to drown the sound our to cause any falling masonry. The fluctuating temperature in the place led to several re-tunings but Billy is able to keep things bubbling along nicely and I love the hamster pelt joke every time.

The show was another triumph and Run For Home had the choir at full volume. The night was rounded off with One More Bottle of Wine and Clear White Light which again sent the crowd home contented. There is something comforting about finishing with CWL which brings the set to a natural climax. Devil of course would have been too much for this particular building. 

I suspect that sales of merchandise broke all records and the lads deserve every penny of this spin off. My friends will not wait over 30 years to see the band again but have copies of the two most recent studio albums as well as a "best of " to them going until next time. Let's hope they continue to make enough to keep the band on the road. (Little did I know then)