Lindisfarne Concert Review
The Robin, Wolverhampton - Saturday, 25th October 2003
by Reinhard Groll
Let me start with a big thanks to my wife Brigitte who had forced me to do the 1000-mile weekend trip from Duesseldorf to Wolverhampton. Since there was no chance of getting a flight to either Birmingham or Manchester, the only other option was to go by car and take the ferry. Yes, Brigitte was right, if I hadn't done it, it would have always been "Unfinished Business" for me.
But before I start with a brief review, I know that most of you are interested in any "Inside Lindisfarne" news especially when it comes down to the questions "why did they split"? and "what will happen next"?. Of course I have asked both questions to all members of the band, got my answers, but perhaps it's not what you really want to hear. Here we go anyway.
Why did they split? There is no sufficient single answer which would explain it in one or two words. Rod's name came up in the press but in fact it would be unfair to him because it simply isn't rue. All I can say is that it simply has happened like in the non music business world where someone wants to leave the company simply for a change. It is a fact that the split decision was not carried by all members of Lindisfarne. But it was democratric decision when it came to the question if it would make sense to carry on with a new member or two. This particular question was already discussed and answered a long time ago.
Anway, Rod has promised to publish an official statement from his side at some time after the tour on his website. So watch out what will come on www.rodclements.com and Ray Laidlaw might do the same here at www.lindisfarne.co.uk
Question two: what will happen next?
It is the undoubtedly the definitive end of the 5-piece electric line-up. Lindisfarne Acoustic will tour in Spring 2004. Billy Mitchell will do a couple of solo concerts, play in the Pantomine and is still thinking about recording his second solo album. Ray Laidlaw will be working hard on the live CD and DVD of the band's very last gig at the Newcastle Opera House on November 1st. There will be no additional DVD as originally planned for December 2003, containing material from the 2002 Opera House gig. Instead material form that show and other footage will be used for the 2003 DVD. Dave Hull-Denholm will take the opportunity to write more songs and to spend even more time for his other passion, "painting". Rod Clements is waiting for Nigel Stonier who is currently on tour with Thea Gilmore. There is a lot of song material yet to finish and who knows what will come out of this collaboration. And finally Ian Thomson is a member of the 3-piece "Ghosts of Electricity" project which will start off in Spring 2003 together with Rod and Dave which -in spite of the name- will be an all acoustic project.
Did I miss anything? I don't think so, except that there was also a gig on Saturday at The Robin in Wolverhampton.
A very strong gig!! The setlist was basically the same as before but in addition we found the return of "No Time To Lose" and "Can't Do Right" [btw: Can't Do Right is to be covered by a young musician; please ask Rod further details which I have forgotten] both of which will become part of the setlist for the Opera House. Sadly there was no "One More Bottle of Wine". It had been on the setlist but Billy had some sound problems with Rod's mandolin which he had used during "Road to Kingdome Come" so it had to be dropped.
Highlights to me were "Unmarked Car" and "Whiskey Highway". "Lady Eleanor" was played correctly from the beginning with the capo on the 7th fret, [see left] the harmonica used for MMOTC was the right one, but a big laugh came from the audience when Billy announced "This Guitar Never Lies" - Dave, who was going to use the wrong guitar, had to swap it for the correct one.
For all the equipment freaks amongst you; Dave didn't use his WEM Copycat, something inside had broken. Rod was using a new Fender Vintage Style amp (1 x 12" speaker) because his old Fender Vibrolux (2 x 10" speaker) is in need of some repair. The big advantage of the new amp is that he no longer needs an extra foot pedal for distortion which now come from the amp itself. The only foot pedal still in use is an Equalizer which acts as a volume booster during solos.
Ok then, I think everything was said about my personal final Lindisfarne concert.
For those interested of what music was played in the car for that 1000 miles round trip: RWPL (Stock & Trying to Kiss The Sun), Caravan (In The Land of Grey and Pink), Spock's Beard (V), Tom Petty (double bootleg from 99 and another from 03), Pink Floyd (Pulse), Rolling Stones (double bootleg Madison Square Garden 2003), Lindisfarne (Very best of and Rock of The North bootleg).