Friday, 25 May 2012

The Waterboys

I went to the Waterboys gig at the Hexagon in Reading a week or so ago (Tuesday 15th May 2012)
Prior to going I only really knew their recent album 'An Appointment with Mr Yeats'. The first half (and the encores) of highlights from their whole back-catalogue was a great discovery. I found the loud rock numbers a bit OTT on my ears - preferred the ones with more of a celtic feel (when the electric fiddler was part of the sound texture); and I also preferred the quieter ballads.

Although I had been looking forward to the Yeats part of the show, those particular songs didn't quite work as well live as I'd hoped. I still love the album, mind you! My very favourite song from the album - Let the Earth Bear Witness - wasn't featured (they only did 8 of the songs out of the 14 or 15 on the CD)

The Set list (not sure of some of the actual song titles yet - will have to hunt around on youtube etc)

1. How do ya like (Nothing) ?? Very loud rock and roll style
2. Indian Summer - killing my heart when you go away - another loud one
3. The Thrill has gone (from Pagan Place) - not played often. A sad song  (liked this one a lot!)
4. (piano led) I remember Johnny come lately
5. A girl on the swing (I redorded a snippet of this one)
6. How long will I love you (as long as the stars are above you) = acoustic guitar and keyboard only
7. Glastonbury Song (5 playing - not fiddle)  - There's a green hill far qaway, Going back there one fine day (blinding spot lights - shining out at audience, and back-lighting lead; green red yellow in turn; swivelling up, down and side to side
8 (segue into ) Bright Lights Big City  (Banter with fiddler when he re-entered; the old ways - tell us? no)
9. Pan Within (Come with me on a journey underneath the skin)
10. Lonesome Wind (like a hymn) - one of my favourites in the show!


1. Hosting of the Shee (come away, come away)
2. News for the Delphic Oracle  (nymphs, dolphins etc)
3. The Song of the Wandering Aengus (Little Trout to girl) VERY MOVING = one of my favourites in the show
4. White Birds (v simple, delicate)
(drunken idiots in my row - v annoying)
5. Mad as the Mist and Snow - acoustic guitar and keyboard only. Then fiddler re-entered, wearing a black mask. Others later re-entered, built to a crescendo. Suddenly dark  and just beat and guitar
Then fiddler lit, and keyboard player now in a mask too =- a discordant duel Mike also at the back also in a grotesque mask. - then came forward with a big black book. The mask had 3 faces on it. Read from the book - Yeats poem: Falconer.... The Centre cannot hold....Surely some revclation is at hand, surely the 2nd coming is at hand....
6. An Irish Airman forsees his Death (This life, this death...)  Started drum and keyboard only (marching style) Steel guitar solo later.
(Rebecca whatserface observation in lead-in to next anti-corruption song)
7. September 1913 (written 100 years ago - "could've been written five fucking seconds ago!")
(Romantic Ireland's dead and gone, it's with O'Leary in the grave in the grave)
(Grid of diamonds design for the back-lighting on this one.)
8. Politics (Yeats as an old ma wishing to be young enough again to woo a young woman he's just seen across a public space) "last of this section of the show"
Harmony vocal from the keyboard player (hadn't noticed any previous harmony singing on any songs??)

FIRST ENCORE  (pretty long break...)
1. Don't bang the Drum - title?? (Kalidescope lighting pattern on back wall. Spanish feel to trumpet sounds.)
2. The Whole of the Moon (started with a reggae rhythm, and then went into the normal version)- fiddler playing guitar for this one - now wearing gold lame jacket.

SECOND ENCORE (with guest guitarist from NY - introduced just before Knocking on Heaven's Door)
1. Man is in Love (not sure of the order - was this the first of 2nd encore?) - acoustic guitar and fiddle only (the others dancing irish style around back of stage as they came in; referred to in next bit of chat as 'the watermelon dancers')
2. Knocking on Heaven's Door
3.. Wish I was a Fisherman (got the audience to join in with twirls)

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