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New album prompts UK tour
The Waterboys are back on the road to promote their new album, another milestone in the band's continuing musical evolution. The UK tour, which includes a show at Birmingham Symphony Hall on October 19, is prompted by the two-CD Out Of All This Blue, which is inspired by American R&B, hip-hop and Megumi Igarashi, the new wife of main-man Mike Scott.
On stage: The Waterboys in Barcelona (pic: Xavier Mercade)
"Out Of All This Blue is two thirds love and romance, one third stories and observations,'' says Mike. ''I knew from the beginning I wanted to make a double album, and lucky for me - and I hope the listener - the songs just kept coming, and in pop colours."
Formed in 1983, on The Waterboys' first three albums Mike Scott sculpted a layered post-punk sound, culminating in 1985's sky-scraping This is the Sea.
Since then the music has never ceased to evolve, from the influential mix of Celtic, gospel, country and rock on the classic Fisherman's Blues, to the fired-up poetic passion of 2011's An Appointment with Mr Yeats and 2015's acclaimed return to prominence, the rootsy, funky Modern Blues.
The 2017 live version of the band is the same as that which recorded Modern Blues and toured the world in 2015: Mike Scott on vocals, guitar and piano, Steve Wickham on electric fiddle, Memphis keyboard player Brother Paul, drummer Ralph Salmins, Muscle Shoals bassman David Hood and Austin guitarist Zach Ernst.
Modern Blues: The Waterboys at Birmingham Symphony Hall in 2015 - Steve Wickham, Mike Scott, Zach Ernst, David Hood
The past few years have seen the music of The Waterboys being discovered by musicians young and old. Ellie Goulding scored a top 3 UK hit with How Long Will I Love You in 2013; Boyzone recorded The Whole Of The Moon in 2014, US indie rockers The War On Drugs have played A Pagan Place as a staple of their live set for several years, while cool new American band Dawes rearranged Fisherman's Blues in their 2015 shows.
Meanwhile, How Long Will I Love You, Fisherman's Blues and You In The Sky were featured in the hit movies About Time, Dom Hemingway and What We Did On Our Holiday.
Blue for you: Mike Scott (pic: Paul MacManus)
The Waterboys 2017 UK and Ireland tour dates:
October 18: Colston Hall, Bristol; October 19: Symphony Hall, Birmingham; October 21: London Palladium; October 22: Opera House, Manchester;
October 23: The Sage, Gateshead;
October 24: SEC Armadillo, Glasgow;
October 26: 3Arena, Dublin.