Lindisfarne Concert Review(s)

Colne - Nov 11, 1996 & Whitby - Dec 1st, 1996

by Derek Walmsley

I was very pleased to be able to attend two of the "Untapped & Acoustic" concerts at Colne on 3rd November and Whitby on 1st December 1996. 

At Colne, songs from Alan’s new solo album were drifting through the Municipal Hall speakers, making this an immediate purchase. If the album had been on vinyl I would have completely worn it out by now- recommendation enough! Although I had arrived alone, a local couple invited me to join them at a table near the front and we had a whale of a time. The band opened in fine form with "No Time to Lose", "100 Miles to Liverpool" and "Why Can’t I be Satisfied". In slower mood, two songs likely to be on the new album followed. Rod’s "Sundown Station" (which he recorded with Bert Jansch on 1988’s "Leather Launderette") and "Refugees" showed the band’s ability to switch styles with ease, especially when book-ending Si Cowe’s "Uncle Sam".

"Walk a Crooked Mile" is a classic Hull song equally at home in the Lindisfarne set and on "Statues and Liberties". Storming renditions of this, "We Can Swing Together" and a "Scotch Mist"/"Bring Down the Government" medley left the audience on a high. There were even the haircuts of Dave, Ian and Ray which prompted Billy to explain they were in a sect- not Hare Krishna’s but Harry Ramsden’s. That explained why they were chanting "Harry Harry, Fishna Fishna".

After drinking time, "Court in the Act" led into "Passing Ghosts". I have special memories of this song as a young lad back in 1972 at a church confirmation weekend in Coniston Youth Centre. Someone had a newfangled cassette recorder and one tape- "Fog on the Tyne". Perhaps it was the apt lyrics about sleeping together but this and the title track were played continuously- my first introduction to Lindisfarne! Next, "Log on my Fire" and "Old Peculiar Feeling" fitted the intimate venue perfectly and "Lady Eleanor" still possesses that special magic. Dave Denholm’s performance of "Winter Song" was outstanding, matching his stunning version of "One World" I enjoyed at South Shields in March. Billy Mitchell turned in an excellent "United States of Mind", leading into "Run for Home" and audience participation time.

At Marty’s beckoning, an enthusiastic crowd rushed to the front and danced away to "Meet me on the Corner", "Dingle Regatta", "Road to Kingdom Come", "Fog on the Tyne" and "Clear White Light".

At Whitby Metropole Hotel, it was the same but different! Here, I arrived on the train not knowing I was sat opposite another man heading for the concert. On visiting the local music shop which supplied my ticket, I overheard the owner saying "it’ll be a packed house tomorrow night- there’s even people from Barrow-in-Furness [that's where Derek is living. RG] and Kent coming!". The coincidences continued when I was joined at a table by the man on the train, George Mullins from Ramsgate! We shared years of experiences following our favourite band and were both treated to yet another memorable evening.

Apart from changes in running order (such as "Run for Home" and "We Can Swing Together" swapping halves), "Log on my Fire" was replaced by "Call of the Wild" as representative from "The News" album and "Road to Kingdom Come" by the frenzied finale of "Jackhammer Blues". As well as the excellent performances, the warmth and atmosphere of the venues was special. Louise and Gary on the merchandise stand even recognised me as a contributor to "Magic in the Air" by the name on my credit card. They are indeed the "memory people"!

Derek Walmsley