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Blog: The Waterboys - An Appointment With Mr Yeats

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The giddy whirligig of life in That London continued in its GLAMOROUS WAY last night as The Appointments On My Calendar and I went off to The Barbican last night to see The Waterboys.

The Skin On My Bodhran is a BIG fan of Mr M Scott and The Waterboys so when she saw he'd be doing his new songs, where he'd put the poems of WB Yeats to music, in That London she SNAPPED UP tickets. The Barbican is NOT the nicest of places - if someone wanted to do a MILD yet ACCURATE satire of 60's architecture then they would probably just point at The Barbican and say "JOB DONE" for LO! it is grey and oppressive and INCREDIBLY EASY to get lost in. They've gone some way to solving the latter problem by putting signs EVERYWHERE, but there must still be people from the 1970's still struggling round its lesser known HighWalks, desperate to find a way out, surviving on Monster Munch alone.

Once inside the actual HALL, however, it was a different story, as the seating was LOVELY. You know that thing popular about 10 years ago where some cinemas had Luxury Seating? It was like THAT - nice and big and PLUMP, with EXCELLENT viewlines, I was most impressed!

The band came on and I was LESS impressed for the first few songs as they leapt STRAIGHT in and just PLAYED them without a word to any of us. It all felt disconnected to us, especially because the sound levels weren't quite right yet. As we discussed after, it's DAFT when bands do this - it isn't MYSTERIOUS or CHARISMATIC, it's just a bit annoying, and things picked up IMMENSELY when Mr Scott came to the front and said HELLO shortly afterwards. He explained what he was trying to do, what he was doing, and said thanks for coming to see basically a whole show of new material, and all of a sudden the atmosphere LIFTED and we were all ONSIDE and ready to go along with it. The next song was one of my FAVOURITES and for the next hour it all ROCKED along. There were ten musicians onstage, including a HORN SECTION, and it all sounded GRATE. I realised that one of the things that sets apart your Big Stadium Band from the rest of us is that in a really good Big Stadium Band EVERYONE is performing ALL THE TIME - even when wandering back on stage nearly all of the band were ROCKING OUT. The violinist made picking up his BOW into an ACT OF ROCK - it felt a bit CHEESY to start with, but then very quickly became ACE.

Quite a lot of the gig was like that actually - at some points I'd be a bit put off by ON-STAGE stuff, especially when Mike Scott was giving it the BIG STADIUM MOVES. "Who does he think he is?" I thought to myself, "He's acting like some big 80's Rock Star! Oh. Right. Fair enough." I'm used to seeing indie bands in small spaces, so seeing a Proper Stadium Band at SUCH close quarters took a bit of getting used to, but by heck once i did it WORKED. There was a small part of my REBELLING even at the end, when they did a long instrumental section gradually building up the sound with soloes for every player, but GOODNESS ME when he did a DANCING COMPETITION with The Keyboard player it would have to be a STONY HEART INDEED that did not break into a SILLY GRIN, and when Mike Scott did a PROPER MASSIVE GUITAR SOLO... crikey!

Best of all, after all THAT (this is during the SECOND ENCORE, by the way) he said "We're going to do one more song". "Oh yeah!" I thought, JOKING TO MYSELF after having watched 90 minutes of ALL WB Yeats material, "Is it going to be The Hit?" I was being INWARDLY SARCASTIC, but BLOW ME DOWN if they didn't launch into "The Whole Of The Moon", and make it AMAZING! The only weird thing was they had a HUGE circular screen above them, which had been used variously and brilliantly throughout to show accompanying images, but DIDN'T use it this time as a gigantic Whole Of The Moon.

It was the ONLY and TINY thing not completely RIGHT about the ending, which was IMMENSE, and when they showed WB Yeats himself on the screen as they left it was VERY moving. It cleary meant a LOT to Mr Scott to undertake such a thing, and you couldn't help but be impressed that he'd not only WRITTEN so much material but had gone to such lengths to present it properly. The fact that it ended up being a BLOODY GRATE night out was much appreciated too!

posted 4/2/2011 by MJ Hibbett

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What, a huge white reflective circle with nothing projected on it is somehow not representative of the white reflective sphere that is the full Moon? Methinks you misunderstood it.
posted 6/2/2011 by awld dickonian

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