The Waterboys Live — Guildford G Live **** (four stars)

 

The Waterboys were on fine form, playing two sets. Touring as a seven piece to support the fabulous new double album Out Of All This Blue, the band comprised drums, keys, bass, fiddle, Mike Scott on vocals/guitar and two vibrant and very energetic backing vocalists.

Strong and intelligent lyrics are an important feature of the Waterboys. It was good to hear Scott’s vocals prominent in the sound mix and the band produced a powerful yet clean sound.

The show was a mix of old and new with Irish reels interspersed. The first set had tracks including Medicine Bow, A Girl Called Johnny and the flowing Man, What A Woman.

Perhaps the standout track of the night was Morning Came Too Soon, another from the new album, with Scott’s trademark observational lyrics interestingly amended live to reveal the “country music record” in the song as a Willie Nelson record.

The second set began with the slower acoustic number Christ In You. Soon fiddle player Steve Wickham was in reel mode and he and Scott duetted on Flower of Sweet Strabane. Scott mischievously used the bluesy Nearest Thing To Hip to encourage the audience sing a smutty word and he progressed to storytelling with Santa Fe. Raggle Taggle Gypsy continued the Irish theme by which time the audience was in party mode.

Scott took to the piano for another duet with Wickham for a strong version of Don’t Bang The Drum. The band returned for the driving country blues Long Strange Golden Road with an excellent guitar solo by Scott and the cracking encore was The Whole Of The Moon.

Words by Chaz Brooks

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