Concert Review

Lindisfarne Acoustic

Stourport on Severn, Stourport Boat Club - Sunday 2nd May 2004

review and photos by Alan Perry

Stourport Boat Club was the venue for Lindisfarne Acoustic, the last concert to be staged by The Galleon Acoustic Club.

I tried to create in this review 'a Bootleg without sound', capturing the dry humour and banter between tracks that enhance the playing of the songs, an 'aide-memoire' for those who were lucky enough to see this last tour. And before anyone asks, I didn't tape the concert, the review was made from notes taken at the time! Quotations from Billy and Rod are prefixed by B: and R: respectively.

The audience of 110 or so were mostly lined up on neat rows of chairs for the 8pm start, so everyone had a good view of the Lads who were seated on a tiny stage made of boards raised up on a layer of beer-crates.

B: The stage is so small that the 12-string acoustic guitars have to be re-tuned between numbers because there is not room for more guitars on stage - they have been left on the tour bus!

B: The set-list was now so well known that we can remember it without reference to a written copy, although one night we had collective memory failure and missed out one song completely.

A copy of the set-list is to be found in the review of the Stratford on Avon concert, so I won't repeat all of the details here.

B: My granny worked for British Rail as a welder - she put the tops on the pies! Sundown Station is dedicated to her.

R: Sorry for all of the on-stage tuning - we never had to do re-tuning when we had a drum-kit.

The first Alan Hull song, Log on the Fire, was followed by Ghost in Blue Suede Shoes.

B: The next song comes from the 1998 album Here Comes The Neighbourhood - this was recorded in Scotland: we would have recorded it in Stourport, but there was no recording studio here - it would would have been nice because we could have gone to the fairground.

Two people from the second row left their seats before Born at the Right Time - I thought they were making an intelligent early break for the bar.

B: Those 2 they they were undoubtedly heading to be at the front of the queue for the CD/DVD stall during the mid-set break. We have for sale the Lindisfarne Acoustic 2 CD and the Lindisfarne last concert DVD, also copies of the soon to be released Dingly Dell CD.

I bought the Dingly Dell CD, and can thoroughly recommend that all original Lindisfarne devotees invest in a copy immediately. Between 9pm and 9.30pm Billy donned his money-apron, and became CD/DVD salesman, taking time to chat with many long term fans, as well as to some first-timers!

Armed with fresh supplies of Guinness and Greene King IPA, the band returned to the stage for their Alan Hull set, starting with Blueberry Hill.

B: This is a song about a guy who decided to call himself Chubby Checker - he wanted to call himself Fats Domino, but called himself the nearest thing??? I can see show-girls dancing on stage, big flashing lights with a full band.. But back to reality.

R: The songs penned by Alan were chosen for this tour because they were not usually played by Lindisfarne Electric, but deserve exposure.

R: I remember the days in 1968 when Si, Ray, Jacka and Billy and I used to go to the Acoustic Club that Alan ran at The Rex Hotel, Whitley Bay. Dave couldn't go because he was still in his pram. We will continue with a song first aired at The Rex Hotel, Train in F-Major - it was Train in E-Major when Jacka sang it. This was my first song, penned for the girl who later became my ex-wife.

B: I didn't have a girlfiriend to write songs about in those days, so I wrote Rocking Chair about my grandad.

They then remembered to play Can't do Right for Doing Wrong, which had been omitted by mistake in an earlier concert.

R: Everyone please sing along with the next song if you know the words.

Naturally there was a large choir for Meet Me on the Corner, and the second set came to a close at 10.30pm. Applause and calls for an encore resulted in Rod returning to the stage.

R: I am on my own because there is only one mirror in the back there.

Eventually Dave and Billy joined him to play Roll on that Day.

B: Is anyone who wants to give up their seat for someone who has stood up all night?

There were no volunteers. Following Freedom Square, Billy's thoughts turned to beer - negotiations conducted over the heads of the audience resulted in 2 pints of IPA and a pint Guinness being brought to the stage to help them through the last song.

B: Did anyone see Newcastle United lose to Manchester City yesterday?

He was after sympathy, but none was forthcoming. Time will tell whether they made 4th position, and a Champion's League place.

B: Does anyone know any jokes?

Everyone seemed to have stage-fright and kept quiet.

B: Thanked to all of you for the support given to the band over the years

At 10:45pm the concert came to an end with One More Bottle of Wine, appropriately leaving the audience with enough time to buy a last drink. Autographs were signed, and the audience went home with happiness tinged with sadness that this great band will not be seen again. I really enjoyed this friendly gig, as I'm sure did the rest of the audience.

    Alan Perry