Lindisfarne @ Newcastle; Wylam Brewery 30 - 7- 23
Well, that was a nostalgic one one last night; the first time I've been to a Lindisfarne show in 32 years!!! I don't think i missed a Christmas one between 1980 and 1990, but then life changes, bands spilt, reform, split and reform again.... I suppose the catalyst was seeing Rod Clements & Ian Thomson in an intimate acoustic show at Sedgefield Town Hall a few years back, but the real spur was the BBC Live box-set a couple of months back; reminded me what a great live band they were.
So, seeing as they were playing what I call "the garden shed" out the back, there was no excuse not to pull the byuets (boots) on and have a looksee. Well, from the bouncing opener of Alan Hull's No Time To Lose, it was clear from the get go this was going to be a roof-raiser. Rod Clements may be the sole-standing survivor from the days I first saw the band, (Alan Hull and Si Cowie are sadly no longer with us) by some sort of alchemy, they sounded pretty damn close to the original. Not surprising I suppose as most of the current members have played within the band for the last decade or two...
Current line up : -
Rod Clements – bass guitar, violin, guitar, slide guitar, mandolin, lead and backing vocals (1968–1973, 1976, 1978–2004, 2015–present)
Ian Thomson – bass guitar, backing vocals (1990–2003, 2013–present)
Dave Hull-Denholm – guitars, keyboards, lead and backing vocals (1994–2004, 2013–present)
Steve Daggett – vocals, keyboards, acoustic guitar, harmonica (2013–present; touring member – 1986–1987)
Paul Smith – drums (2021-present)
For the uninitiated; yes, there are some out there (you know who you are...) how do you describe the music? Well, mandolins & fiddles, so could be country, could be bluegrass: then add 12 string guitars and were into folk-ish areas, but no flutes or mellotrons, so not prog. There was though, a good mix of Alan Hull's great songs as well as early contributions from the late Rab Noakes as well as the air to the enigmatic Lady Eleanor that had the capacity audience warming up their vocal chords as We Can Swing Together presaged a run through the hits Meet Me On The Corner and Run For Home as well as the tricky minor/major change in Winter Song. Nicely warmed up, there was the "unofficial" Geordie anthem Fog On The Tyne. And, as if to nail home the point, the final sprint that is Clear White Light, with it's Bo Diddly-like mid-song breakdown.
So, came out after a 90+ minute set, with the sort of elation I get from a "cut above" show, a veritable "p***-up in a brewery" and a touch of nostalgia in the eye as they don't make bands as good this very often
Side note - this is only the 2nd time I've seen Lindisfarne outside Newcastle City Hall, previously it was at St James' opening for Bob Dylan. Think though, I'm gonna give the Christmas bash a go this year.
Video from last year's gig at same venue: -
Fog On The Tyne - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GhqCIhQa7vg
When life gives you lemons; don't make lemonade.
Give back the lemons. Why were the lemons free? What's wrong with the lemons?
Do Not trust the lemons...