Van Morisson, Fife Aid.

Jim Condie writes (September/99) with details of this concert:
The performance was as part of "Fife Aid", one of a bunch of concerts in the aftermath of "Live Aid". It took place in May or June 1988. Also on the bill (a 3-day festival) were Marillion, John Martyn, Rick Wakeman, Jack Bruce, Runrig, Blues 'n' Trouble, Tam White & Boz Burrell, Davy Spillane.

It rained the entire weekend until Van took the stage (9pm on the Sunday - last act to go on) when the setting sun broke through the clouds for exactly the hour we played! Then gale force winds sprang up and overnight tore the tarps to shreds.

The crowd was about 15000 strong, tho' the organisers had hoped for a turnout of 60000 -plus. The original idea had been to satellite link this festival with others in, I think, Delhi and California. The initial plan had attracted quite a few biggish names like Go West, Transvision Vamp, and even Bowie expressed interest. As it was, the organisers suffered a substantial loss at the end of the day.

Anyway, Van agreed to do the gig on the understanding that his performance was not to be on the satellite link, and that a band comprising locally-based musicians be assembled, as his London band would've cost too much to bring up. This is where I came in. I put together a band of Scottish musos, and we rehearsed the set on the Saturday, and played the gig on the Sunday. Van brought 3 band-members up with him.

The line up was:
Neil Drinkwater: piano
Clive Culbertson: bass
June Boyce: background vocals (all 3 from Van's band)
Me: guitar (freelance, mostly then with the BBC)
Mark Forshaw: drums (then with Hue & Cry)
Graham Weir: trombone and accordion
Neil Weir: trumpet (both with OMD)
Nick Robertson: alto sax
Colin Blaikie (or Blakeley): penny whistle (then with the Waterboys)
'Big' Liz McEwan: background vocals
Rab Randall: guitar tech (just finished tour with Ry Cooder)

The set list was: Celtic Excavation / Queen of the Slipstream / Someone Like You / I Forgot That Love Existed / In The garden / Sense Of Wonder / Help Me / Irish Heartbeat / Star Of The County Down / Raglan Road / Mhairi's Wedding / Cleaning Windows / Bright Side Of The Road (encore)