Mike Scott sings a line later tonight that says “Come with me on a journey beneath the skin” and that’s exactly what happens over the next 2 hours or so.
His music has a unique ability to do just that and tonight is no exception.
A marriage of Yeats poetry set to music sounds risky and could potentially alienate an audience however we are dealing with Mike Scott here, who can easily be considered a poet in his own right. So no need to worry, we are in very safe hands tonight. The majestic, dramatic, cinematic richness of Scott`s music is still firmly intact.
It seemed that even mother nature knew The Waterboys were back in town as last week`s warm weather was replaced by a wintry chilling landscape far more suited to Scott`s soundtracks, and so the scene is set…
Indoors, there was typical warmth in the greeting that welcomed our very own Raggle Taggle Gypsy on to the stage.
The fact that Mike sang these songs with same vigour and enthusiasm he first showed when his band initially burst on to the scene over 22 years ago came as no shock; maybe what was surprising was the fact that this was a complete sell out tonight and clearly showed that his music is still as relevant now as it was then, not to mention his incredible popularity.
And so it continued with a couple of slower paced love songs sandwiching “Pan Within” namely “How Long Will I Love You” from 1990′s Room to Roam and a very rare rendition of a track from The Fisherman’s Blues Sessions, the beautiful “Lonesome Old Wind”.
A brief interlude followed before we were treated to a very special second half of songs from the “An Appointment With Mr Yeats” album.
The pounding drama of “The Hosting of The Shee” got us underway and set feet a-tappin’, followed by the story telling “News for The Delphic Oracle” with Steve Wickham excelling on violin as always.
One of Yeats’s more famous poems was next to be given the Mike Scott treatment namely “The Song of Wandering Aengus” and it, too, never failed to bring the hugely appreciative applause that greeted the end of every song.
It might not be “The Big Music” some fans may have been expecting, but it merely showcased the talent and skill Scott has, for turning words from a bygone age into something modern and accessible for everyone to enjoy. Mission truly accomplished.
A personal favourite from the album, the melodic “White Birds” followed with some fantastic playing from the seven piece band assembled for tonight’s show, which also included a young Irish singer by the name of Katie Kim who added another dimension with her excellent harmonising.
An apt rendition of “Mad as the Mist and the Snow” and “Full Moon in March” were followed by Yeats “September 1913” which is as relevant now as it was the year he wrote it. Clearly George Orwell wasn`t the only visionary of the 20th century and Yeats penned this 30 years previously!! The second half closed with “Politics” with Mike duetting superbly with the previously mentioned young Irish singer Katie Kim. Lovely stuff.
And so it was over… until the rapturous applause ensured the band ventured back on stage to bring the house down with the Celtic rock of “Don’t Bang The Drum” the anthemic “Whole of the Moon” and the delightful “A Man is in Love”. This was the excuse the Glasgow audience needed to get on their collective feet and show their appreciation. A truly show stopping 15 minutes!
And so it really was over… hang on tho’, the lights are still dimmed, the band left the stage rather abruptly. The savvy Glasgow crowd realising this, started cheering once more, and what do you know? A second encore!
They couldn’t…could they? They wouldn’t, would they? You bet they could… The strumming of an acoustic guitar, the strains of a single violin, the pounding of the drums, and then a “whooooh” from Mike. Yes Ladies and Gentleman, I give you “Fishermans Blues.”
What a treat, what a surprise. Everyone in the hall was on their feet, and if there is a better song to end a gig then I don`t think I’ve ever heard it.
And so it was truly was over this time, Mike had triumphed as he always does in Glasgow,and we await our next Appointment with Mr Scott, and it can’t come soon enough.