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Derek

Review of 23rd December show

On the train home, I had chance to pen my memories of a fantastic show. Here they are- pictures will follow later!

NEWCASTLE CITY HALL: 23RD DECEMBER 2015

With the sun shining once more, I made the annual pilgrimage from a flooded Cumbria to the north-east mecca of the City Hall.  I’d travelled that railway line many times before, this time in anticipation of the fresh treats in store now Rod was back in the fold. I’d already had the privilege of seeing the fantastic debut of the new line-up at Masham Town Hall last May which had already set the expectation bar high. How could the band surpass that and take on the mantle vacated by the inimitable Jacka ?  I’m pleased to report that the gig exceeded my wildest expectations.

First class musicianship and atmosphere ranked this as one of the best, if not the best, Lindisfarne Christmas Show ever- and there’s lots of competition for that accolade over the 30 years I’ve been Christmas commuting to Newcastle!

Rod showed great versatility in switching between guitars, mandolin and fiddle- as well as sharing lead vocals and frontman duties with Dave. Superb accompaniment was provided by Charlie, Ian, Steve and Paul, the opening “No Time To Lose” kicking in with the tight ensemble playing of a bunch of friends keeping the Lindisfarne spirit alive.

Dave took centre stage for Alan’s “All Fall Down” and Rod took on Jacka’s favourite single-that-never-was, “Wake Up Little Sister”.  Following an atmospheric rendition of “Lady Eleanor”, Rod led a storming bluesy performance of the Dingly Dell track “Don’t Ask Me”, a musical highlight of the first half. Dave next paid tribute to the Jarrow Crusade with “Marshall Riley’s Army”, Rod switching to fiddle.

An extra dimension was added to the show this year by the impressive visual backdrops provided for each song by Gary Carverhill and team. Silhouettes of the late, great Alan Hull were projected as Dave mirrored his father-in-law’s vocals on the ‘Pipedream’ song “United States Of Mind”, Rod switching to mandolin for this and the next couple of songs.  Impressive cityscape video complemented “City Song” and “Passing Ghosts” gained added poignancy by the addition of a lost verse missing from the recorded version on the ‘Fog On The Tyne’ album.

The welcome return of “Coming Good” from the ’Promenade’ album led into the perfect first-half closer “January Song”, giving the audience a first chance to exercise their vocal chords in readiness for the second half.

At the start of the concert, Santa Simma had introduced the Shoeshop Quartet, four female Santas who treated us to immaculate ‘a cappella’ renditions of Christmas favourites. The icing on the cake concluded their second curtain-raiser, namely a rendition of “Nights” which brought back fond memories of the band’s mid 1980s vocals-only version.  

Lindisfarne’s second set started with blistering versions of “Alright On The Night” and “Float Me Down The River” (a.k.a. “Alan In The River With Flowers”).  We were then treated to the more intimate “Train In E Major” by Rod and “Winter Song” by Dave, lighting effects and a large full moon adding stunning visuals to the latter.    

Rod next paid tribute to the recently-departed Simon Cowe, leading a brilliant performance of Si’s distinctive “Uncle Sam”, returning to fiddle for his own “Road To Kingdom Come”.   A more recent Clements composition “Jubilee Corner” from the ‘Here Comes The Neighbourhood’ CD was given a well-deserved airing, and an ethereal Daggett keyboard-led introduction led atmospherically into a wonderful “One World”, which opened the ‘Amigos’ album.

Party hats to the fore, the audience rose to their feet to join in the classic sequence “We Can Swing Together”, “Fog On The Tyne”, “Meet Me On The Corner” and “Run for Home” , the unbeatable City Hall experience gathering momentum.  A lengthy ovation ushered the band back on stage for a rousing “Call Of The Wild”, the Shoeshop Quartet re-joining the full ensemble for “Clear White Light”, ending the night on the last of many highs.  

It was great to meet up again with fans from far and wide. All agreed with me that this was a superb night and the band had succeeded magnificently in keeping the beacon burning. A truly magical evening and the perfect way to start Christmas proper!
Kirsty

Was a great gig, many more to come, maybe new songs....
tempusfugit

Yes it was a great gig,well described Derek. I've never seen so many guitars,
the guitar roadie had his work cut out. Christmas Magic In The Air,roll on 2016.
Nice to catch up with Derek and Charles,it's officially Christmas now. Ho Ho Ho.
Derek

Pictures

Cheers Bruce -great to meet up at last.

Happy Christmas everyone and here are some pictures.








































Mick

Great review and great pictures Derek. Thanks.
Derek

All the best!

Cheers Mick. Still on a high from the gig!
All the best for the New Year.
Derek.
JohnG

Thanks Derek. We were unable to go to the shows this year but your typically enthusiastic, highly descriptive review has given us a flavour of the night. With the addition of the photos I can almost feel like I was there. Thanks again my friend and best wishes to you from us for 2016.
Derek

All the best!

Many thanks John - and best wishes to yourself and Pauline for the New Year. See you soon, Derek.

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