“That’s quite enough rock’n’roll,” quipped Mike Scott mid-way through this concert, and right before launching into a particularly peppy, hectic track Medicine Bow.
The Waterboys | Rating: **** | Royal Concert Hall, Glasgow
The ever-fluid musical adventure that is The Waterboys is on a right old rock’n’roll kick these days, thanks to current album, Modern Blues, recorded in Nashville with some crack players who now form the latest tasty iteration of the touring band.
Muscle Shoals session legend David Hood was unflappable on bass, the ridiculously able Ralph Solomons drummed up a storm, the entertaining and animated Brother Paul attacked his keyboards with a testifying fervour, rivalling both Scott and his right hand man Steve Wickham for flamboyance, and Austin guitarist Zach Ernst had to be content playing second fiddle, as it were, to Wickham, a man who wields his violin like a lead guitar.
Together these men jammed the heck out of a hoary set which was far from subtle but undeniably fiery. Persistent, beseeching heckles for Fisherman’s Blues were all but drowned out by the effortlessly epic stirring roots rock on display.
There was a curated treat for the Glasgow audience when Scott inserted a lovely, warm anecdote about scrambling for tickets to see The Who at the Apollo into The Nearest Thing to Hip, a rocking requiem for the hangouts of his past, and patience was rewarded with an encore of the longed-for Fisherman’s Blues, delivered with a dash of southern soul flavour.