The Millennium Forum has just announced that the legendary group, The Waterboys, will return to its stage on Sunday 19th May. Tickets go on sale from the Box Office on Friday 15th February and are priced £34.00.
Formed in the early 1980s by Scottish musician Mike Scott, the band has explored a number of different styles, but their music is mainly a mix of folk music with rock and roll. Early iconic albums such as ‘This Is The Sea’, ‘Fisherman’s Blues’ and ‘Room To Roam’ cemented the band’s popularity in the 80s and 90s, with the anthemic, ‘Whole of the Moon’, being their best known hit single. Throughout their career, the band toured extensively, firmly establishing themselves as a prolific live act.
They make their much anticipated return to the Forum following the release of their latest album, ‘Out Of All This Blue’. The Waterboys' twelfth and first double album is maybe the most brilliantly daring and accomplished reinvention of The Waterboys to date.
Here are love songs as impassioned and unbridled as any in Scott’s canon: the sassy philosophical swing of Do We Choose Who We Love, the urgent Morning Came Too Soon, the unabashed fanfare of Love Walks In. On the incident-filled street symphony New York, I Love You and the anthemic keynote Nashville, Tennessee romantic attachment is to place rather than partner. Elsewhere self-made myths (the rambunctious, careering Connemara Fox), living legends (Mister Charisma), pumped up egomaniacs (Monument) and grotesque rock'n'roll lore (The Hammerhead Bar) illuminate an album that’s kaleidoscopic in scope, rich in character and location, teeming with musical and lyrical detail.
Mike and fellow travelers, fiddler Steve Wickham, Muscle Shoals bass legend David Hood and Deep South keyboard wizard Brother Paul, play like demons on a mission. But it’s Scott’s use of hip hop recording techniques - drum loops, samples and found sounds that ground the songs’ soulful awakenings - that gives the album a particularly thrilling momentum. Refusing to be cowed by past achievements Scott’s determination to forge new ground is preeminent. “I always wanted to be better than anyone else,” he admits. “Cohen and Dylan may be above me in the tower of song but from my own generation I’ll take any of them on. Let them beat this.”
Out Of All This Blue contains multitudes - as befits the man who first heard the Big Music growing up in Edinburgh in the 60s and has followed his dream down all the days since. Protest, eulogy, soulful horns, heady strings, blisteringly hot guitars - Scott’s own playing makes significant impact throughout, particularly on Morning Came Too Soon. There are swaggering funk-fried memories of love that never was (Santa Fe) and free-flowing celebrations of new love's ecstacy (Didn’t We Walk On Water). The beats are so voluminous, so frenetic, pulverising and energising, that the next time The Waterboys tour it will be as a two-drummer nine-piece band.
And finally Out Of All This Blue is a reminder that Scott's own sense of pop, which generated How Long Will I Love You (a smash by Ellie Goulding) and the perennial favourite, The Whole Of The Moon, is still strong. “Sometimes my music comes round to a place where it touches pop," says Mike. "I love when that happens and this is one of those times.”
The Waterboys perform at the Millennium Forum on Sunday 19th May. Tickets go on sale from the Box Office on Friday 15th February @ 10am and are priced £34.00. Telephone 71 264455 or visit millenniumforum.co.uk for bookings.