The Waterboys charm Cambridge crowd on cold Sunday night in April
Mike Scott and co, still probably best known for classic pop/rock staple, The Whole of the Moon, stopped off at the Corn Exchange in support of their latest studio effort
Now is a very good time to be a Waterboy, as the ever-changing collective put together by Edinburgh-born Mike Scott in 1983 enjoyed their highest chart placing in over 20 years when Out of All This Blue reached number eight on the UK album charts upon its release in 2017.
“No support,” those words are like music to my ears and so what looked like a pretty packed Corn Exchange on April 29 only had to wait until 8pm before Scott and the other six musicians who currently make up the band came out on stage.
As expected, the set did include a healthy dose of songs from the new record, although it was an older one which got things under way, namely Medicine Bow from The Waterboys’ third album, 1985’s This Is the Sea. This was followed by another ‘oldie’, All the Things She Gave Me.
The first tune to be played from Out of All This Blue was the brilliant If the Answer Is Yeah, while the second, Nashville, Tennessee, was dedicated to current keyboard player, ‘Brother’ Paul Brown from Memphis.
The ever-charismatic Scott noted that the venue was the site of Syd Barrett’s last show in 1972. “Were any of you at that gig?” he asked. “I’m old enough to have been there, is anyone else?” He then dedicated Still a Freak to the late Pink Floyd founder.
The Waterboys are known for their revolving door lineup and present members were given a chance to shine – most notably ebullient keyboard player Brown, fiddler Steve Wickham and female backing vocalists, Zeenie Summers and Jess Kavanagh.
Scott, looking every inch the rock star with his skinny frame, flamboyant gold silk scarf and long hair poking out from under his hat – resembling a sort of older Ryan Adams – played electric guitar, acoustic guitar and piano, and it was seated at the latter where he delivered a spirited rendition of The Whole of the Moon, the final song of the evening.
Despite the passage of time, he also remained in fine voice throughout.
Old and new blended beautifully on what was an enchanting evening’s entertainment.