The Waterboys
Warwick Arts Centre
Live Review

The Waterboys

Iggy Pop to W.B.Yates in one night

Few bands have crossed as many genres as the Waterboys and come out the other side with their fan base still intact. Since the early 80's the band have rocked, jigged and lamented their way into so many hearts. Their sound has been crafted over the decades to compliment Mike Scott's distinctive vocal style and they are renowned for a stage energy and enthusiasm most other bands can only dream about.

The band hit the stage running and within the first couple of bars of "Glastonbury Song" one things for sure, they mean business, not just another band seeing out success with endless tours to ever dwindling audiences. The crowd are quite responsive and a couple of people start to dance much to the dismay of the security guards who make them take their seats again. Next they are quickly into "Its Gonna Rain" and "Love Will Shoot You Down" a couple of tracks from their new album "Book of Lightning" followed by the massively popular Old England. This has set the scene for the rest of the evening a superb mixture of new and old, educating the listeners to the new album whilst cunningly keeping their attention with old favourites. The highlights of the evening for me were a rock version of "When You Go Away" which tailed off into a few bars Iggy Pop's Lust for life and the well crafted "Stolen Child" which if you don't know it, is a vocal rendition of W.B. Yates's poem of the same name. As the night wears on the crowd are obviously ready to get on their feet and as the fist chords of "Medicine Bow" roll out around the venue the crowd are up out of their comfy chairs and heading for the stage. The heat is then turned up with a duo of tracks "The Pan Within" and "Be My Enemy" before the finale of "Fisherman's Blues".

It's been 20 years since my last Waterboys gig but believe me I won't leave it as long again, but please next time pick venues with standing as it can't be half as much fun for the band or audience in a sterile seated venue, I want rock not to watch theatre. Next time the Waterboys play near you get out and see them, there is something extremely satisfying about seeing a job done well. Even if you're not a fan its well worth a visit if only to hear Steve Wickham's fiddle playing.

Set List:

1. Glastonbury Song
2. It's Gonna Rain
3. Love Will Shoot You Down
4. Old England
5. Strange Arrangement
6. Dumbing Down the World
7. Peace of Iona
8. When You Go Away
9. Whole of the Moon
10. Sustain
11. She Tried To Hold Me
12. When Will We be Married
13. Jig from Fisherman's blues
14. Stolen Child
15. Clouds
16. Red Army Blues
17. Medicine Bow
18. The Pan Within
19. Be My Enemy
20. Fisherman's Blues