Lindisfarne Concert Impression

Nettlebed City Hall- Monday, 19th July, 1999

by Steve Yarwood

Nettlebed in Berkshire is a great little venue, not much more than a village hall really, but home to the thriving Nettlebed Folk Club which meets there every Monday. Steeleye Span will be there shortly and Fairport Convention are regular visitors as well. So you can always be sure the audience is familiar with the material and appreciative of the band.

However the front row was strangely empty (I don't think it was my presence that did it) and this seemed to illustrate a certain reservation on the audience's part. Although there was a lot less "on your feet and bopping" than I would have liked, it was nice not to be the only one who knew the lyrics to the newer songs from Neighbourhood, which was the position I seemed to be in when I saw the guys in sunny Morecambe back in March. Obviously the word is spreading that Lindisfarne are out there performing their hearts out, and really enjoyed themselves (and enjoyed being able to say they'd just come back from America, half of them sporting T shirts acquired over there just to rub it in).

The content was much the same as in recent concerts I've been to in Swindon & Morecambe, with a lot of material from Neighbourhood, most of it excellent, but of course squeezing out some of the older stuff that is perhaps what the less regular attendees have come for. I think this works in Nettlebed, but at some stage it would be nice for a couple of the oldies to return - there was no space for We Can Swing Together, Fog on the Tyne and Run for Home (though please don't bring back the slowed-down version of that last classic, the full speed original is far better). Nevertheless there is still room for Clear White Light and Meet Me On The Corner, and there was plenty of other great stuff from the earlier albums. Quite a surprise was to hear Anyway the Wind Blows (from Amigos), apparently as a request for "Molly" in the audience, whose birthday it was. Looks like I'll have to start having a few birthdays then I might get to hear Nights again. But all this sounds like the current stuff is not up to the mark, which couldn't be further from the truth. My personal favourites are Can't Do Right For Doing Wrong, Born at the Right Time, (Mitch has a great voice) and Driftin' Through and sure enough they all featured.

The problem is that the concert really needs to be twice as long! You certainly don't want to drop true greats like Call of the Wild and Why Can't I Be Satisfied. How about having two intervals guys, and going on till midnight? I'm sure the bar can keep you supplied with Guinness.

It is always interesting to talk to those fans who have not seen Lindisfarne for 536 years or whatever, and those I had a chat with came away very happy and appreciative. Quite a few were prompted to buy the new album, though this looked an unlikely option since the band forgot to bring any with them! However some Good Samaritan shot off to acquire some and sure enough a load arrived and were eagerly snapped up. The word spreads some more!

As is now increasingly the case, Rod's guitar work came in for loads of acclaim from the audience, and in common with other recent reviews it deserves singling out. But the whole band knits very well together. Roll on the November tour, when it looks like I will return to Harrogate, the town of my upbringing. If Lindisfarne are performing anywhere remotely near you, you really ought to make the effort to go along, you won't regret it.

        Steve Yarwood,  25.7.99