Tonight I managed to witness my first ‘Poet-Opera‘** when then The Waterboys performed tracks from their latest album ‘An Appointment With Mr. Yeats‘. The show had no support but consisted of two sets by the band. The first was a selection of tracks from their vast catalogue whilst the second was entirely from the new album. I would highly recommend more bands take up this option as this is an idea that would appease all types of fan of a particular artist.
Mike Scott known for his banter with his audience started off welcoming us to the venue The Assembly Rooms, as a grand school sports hall. The opening set included gems like ‘Glastonbury Song‘, ‘A Girl Called Johnny‘ and a brilliant rendition of ‘The Girl In The Swing‘. The lighting and set were minimal but the music was vast and expansive helped by the band being very tight tonight. No Waterboys’ show would be complete without ‘The Pan Within‘ and we were not disappointed at all with a rousing version given.During the break I wandered outside, partly because I forgot to lock my car in the car park. Whilst outside it seemed very apt as the square had one of those BBC giant screens with seats for people to sit and watch. Funnily enough they were showing an opera which slips nicely into the second set of the performance. Can I mention a big thank you also to the staff at the venue whom were helpful and friendly.
Having watched the ‘Later With Jools‘ performances last year I had eagerly been waiting to see these songs live. Steve Wickham on fiddle tonight was electric and the interaction between Mike and him was something else. ‘Song Of Wandering Aengus‘ seemed to go right through your body with its bass-line signature at the end of each line. “Romantic Ireland’s dead and gone” was sang during ‘September 1913‘ but that is so far from the truth as it is alive and here in the band’s love of W.B. Yeats.Mike managed to link Rebekah Brooks with the song ‘Politics‘ which brought up a big cheer from the enthusiastic audience, stating “..it could have been written five seconds ago“. Other delights included ‘White Birds‘ and ‘News For The Delphic Oracle‘. Though they went one stage further dressing up opera style to deliver ‘The Second Coming‘ with Mike sporting a three faced mask which was quite an eerie sight to be honest.
The band did come back for a three song encore that included the hits ‘The Whole Of The Moon‘ and ‘Fisherman’s Blues‘. I was lucky enough to speak to Mike after the show where I became a bit tongue-tied and confused with tours, totally not like me! A true gent even more so for making the time even though he was a bit under the weather, hence the sweets positioned on his piano. I would put this show of theirs up there with some of those I witnessed back in the early 80’s. 9.5/10 theatrical.
* Footage is not from that concert, thankfully as not too many phones were seen in the air.
** Poet-Opera, not sure if anyone has copyrighted it, if not then I invented it – so there!
Buy: Tour CD ‘Cloud Of Sound‘ – Limited Edition to 5000 copies all signed by Mike Scott.